Christmas has always been one of my favorite times of year.
Since I was young, I’ve always loved the moment that I can put my Christmas decorations out. I love seeing others Christmas lights and decorations going up all over. I love going to Christmas pageants, concerts, and programs. I love going to Christmas movies, or watching them and Christmas specials at home. I love the Christmas baking. I love shopping for the perfect gift for others. I love all the festive events that lead up to Christmas. As much as I love all of this, this month of December always seems to get busy.
But then Christmas comes, the thing I love the most. I feel joy as I see the kids at Bdecan presenting the Christmas program I work weeks to put together, and the smiles it brings to our congregation. Then, I go home, and get to celebrate with my family and friends. All the work that goes into getting ready for Christmas seems to fade away, and I get to experience what Christmas really is.
It’s about Mary and Joseph giving up their plain, ordinary, comfortable lives to become the parents of the Savior of the world. Jesus, the King of the world, not being born in a palace or a castle like he deserved, but in a manger, in a barn, surrounded by animals. For Jesus to save us, he had to be born like one of us. A humble, quiet, non-extravagant birth. The shepherds leaving their sheep (the things that mattered most to them) to be the new King’s first visitors. Wise men traveling thousands of miles to meet the new Savior that they had only been told of in a dream. Bringing him the best of what they had.
In the Nativity story we are reminded what Christmas is really about. The lights, the decorations, the extravagant gifts, and all the rest are nice, but these things pass away. Jesus didn’t have much of this on the first Christmas. It was a simple event.
It is about being together with those who we love, and remembering those not able to be with us. It is about relationships. It is about keeping traditions alive, and creating new memories. It is about letting those we love know how much they mean to us. Besides the gifts we give to friends and family, many also feel this special urge to give to those who don’t have what we do.
This shouldn’t be just a Christmas thing, but many seem to be more willing to give at this time of year. We at Bdecan and on the Bdecan Ministry Team are so thankful for how you have all opened your hearts to Bdecan. Not just at Christmas, but for what you give us year-round. Whatever need we bring to our supporting community, it is met. We cannot thank you enough.
With so many people around the country struggling right now financially, I expected our giving to be down this year. I am so proud that we have received more donations this year than ever before. Because of what you give, we are able to involve more kids and youth in our programs. We rely on donations from others. You are the ones that make this ministry as successful as it is.
The thing that we are the most thankful for is the way you have spread the story of what God is doing at Bdecan way beyond what the members of the Ministry Team can do on their own. When you go out, and share our stories with your groups, churches, families, and communities awesome things happen. You have no idea how many relationships that have been built because someone shared our story. We cannot say thank you enough for all that you do for us both at our church, and in your home communities.
Know that you are loved and appreciated. We could not do what we do without the work of all of you. This is OUR ministry, you are an important part of it.
My hope for you is that you may never loose the magic of Christmas. May this feeling of generosity that this season brings continue to grow in us throughout the year. In the busyness of December, may you never forget the reason we celebrate. Remember to go back to the Nativity.
On behalf of the members at Bdecan Presbyterian Church, and the Bdecan Ministry Team,
We want to wish all of you, and your families a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!
Christmas Blessings to you all,
Youth and Outreach Coordinator
Bdecan Presbyterian Church
My name is Joe Obermeyer. I was the Youth and Outreach Coordinator at Bdecan Presbyterian Church from 2013 to 20202.