Seeing Christmas through New Eyes part II
I wanted to follow up to yesterdays post about hearing it as if for the very first time with the next entry I wrote about our Christmas play in Nepal.
In case you are just tuning in (ha now that doesn’t really make sense but it still sounds cool to say it) I mentioned yesterday how I wanted to remind myself and you to capture the miracles of the Christmas story as if hearing it for the very first time.
I shared what I had learned during my time in Nepal as a missionary .. how it made me experience the miracle of the Christmas story as if it was the very first time all over again. So I wanted to share one more entry from my blog in December of 2007. Thought it might help express this thought!
Christmas… Christmas… and more Christmas. Wow. What an opportunity Christmas provides for ministry here. Where to begin. First with the spiritual, then on with the events. This morning I went to English church, which I always enjoy so much, because well I actually understand the sermons! 😉 So this was the Christmas celebration, and the room was filled with literally people from every nation in the world. It was incredible. They had several traditional Nepalese dances and it was just an incredible way to worship in a new way and celebrate Christmas. Several things struck me as I was listening to the pastor speak. He was talking about how the angels went to the shepherds, the lowest of the low to display the Glory of God. I can picture the shepherds out keeping watch by their flock by night… I imagine it looked alot like Nepal, when the glory of God came down to them… and proclaimed the good news for ALL men. How awesome that God chose to reveal his splendor to the stinky, the uneducated, the ones who were outcast and slept with sheep! How awesome that God chooses to reveal himself to me when I am a sinner, when I am full of pride, when I feel sorry for myself, or when I am selfish. Glory to God in the highest. And it stuck me that the angels proclaimed to the shepherds peace on earth to ALL men! At church there were people from Kenya today, new Zealand, America, India, Nepal, Korea, japan, all different countries in Africa, Canada, Mexico.. God came to redeem all man! I was reminded as we focused on this glorious appearing to the shepherds how one day the skies will part and another glorious appearing.. jesuh krist anuuncha (jesus will come) and EVERY knee, tongue, tribe and language will bow. MAHIMA! (glory)
ok.. so enough preaching. About the Christmas play.. thank you so much for praying. I think it went really well. The most amazing thing was that most of the people that came were unbelievers. It was incredible to look at the audience and see all the faces which had Hindu tika (a red flower paste on their heads where they had worshipped their gods before they came ) God brought those people to see his story portrayed. Especially my discipleship group took it seriously about inviting non Christians, so I was really proud of them! So the play went really smoothly, except at the beginning. We started the play from Adam and eve disobeying God since these people don’t have a christian background.. so we had a little fake garden made up of chili pepper trees in a pot.. well this little girl ran out of the audience, and some how got stuck in the thorns of the chilli pepper tree just as Eve was about to eat the apple. I could not help but laugh my head off! About 150 people came, and all our cookies were eaten.
So then the next day was filled with Christmas shopping, and then staying up wrapping gifts for the orphans until 2 am. I was laughing thinking about how last year i was wrapping presents (not very well either) at a gift shop in athens tn wondering how God was going to use that. Well.. it sure came in handy last night as we wrapped 63 gifts for our orphans. It was so much fun picking which presents would go to who. Thanks to a generous donation from Denise Nelson’s workplace (thank you so much) we were able to give the orphans many gifts. Then tonight we went and had dinner with them, danced with them and gave them their gifts. It was precious to see the joy in their faces, even over just a notebook and pencils. I had tears in my eyes, because I remember all the times I had lovingly packed those shoeboxes at Christmas for children in third world countries and prayed and imagined the joy on their faces as they opened them. Guess what. God has now given me the kindof life where I got to watch this before my eyes. What a glorious God we serve!
Friends I pray that one of the ways you come alive this Christmas is accepting the challenge to ask God to help you see it with new eyes!