“So, I’m seeing you guys come Sunday, Christmas?” the pastor asked my family and I as we exited the Sanctuary after our first worship service. Hugging each of us and seeing his enthused-powered smiles every time, we couldn’t help but smile back.
“Of course,” I replied with a grin to match his and that was what the three of us discussed and agreed upon when we realized as he announced from the altar that Sunday would be Christmas Day.
“Let’s go,” I told my husband who already said “Yes” anyway even before I was done asking him and my son agreed, too.
My smile eventually vanished when I remembered that I was scheduled to work come Christmas Eve, meaning that I would miss our fellowship on Sunday, Christmas Day.
“That’s okay,” my husband tried to reassure me knowing how heavier my heart grew when I told him.
“Kristian and I would still go even if you would miss it,” he added.
Of all places to be on such an important day of remembering Jesus, I would spend it on this place I had been dreading the most. I didn’t want to be there. I lost my enthusiasm ever since I was given a hard time by those people having higher positions. All because of their ill intentions to do what they want to do, showing how powerful they could become that they could do what they decided to do. It didn’t matter if people under them were not happy. It didn’t matter even if they didn’t want to announce and always surprised the staff with many changes that most of them were driven to more stressful situations on their part.
“Bummer,” I whispered to my husband and son.
At the back of the car, as my son drove to go to our favorite breakfast place, I had been contemplating about missing the fellowship. As I tried to say “I’m sorry” in my silent prayer only God could hear, I felt some comfort in my heart at the same time. The type that strengthened me and reassured me that it was okay for me to miss the service.
“What if He wanted me to be there?” I suddenly thought to myself.
“Who am I to refuse with what He wanted me to do?”
I didn’t know the reason why I felt comfortable after that thought but there was one thing sure in my heart and mind these past few days, even months and years….
“That there are lots of people suffering, both physically and much more spiritually.”
“How can I serve You God?” I sometimes asked Him, sometimes afraid I even asked Him knowing it could be uncomfortable many times.
But with His grace, I know I can… Only by God’s grace…
“3We have everything we need to live a life that pleases God. It was all given to us by God's own power, when we learned that he had invited us to share in his wonderful goodness. 4God made great and marvelous promises, so that his nature would become part of us. Then we could escape our evil desires and the corrupt influences of this world.
5Do your best to improve your faith. You can do this by adding goodness, understanding, 6self-control, patience, devotion to God, 7concern for others, and love. 8If you keep growing in this way, it will show that what you know about our Lord Jesus Christ has made your lives useful and meaningful. 9But if you don't grow, you are like someone who is nearsighted or blind, and you have forgotten that your past sins are forgiven.” – 2 Peter 1:3-9 (CEV)
Father, please forgive me for all my short-sighted visions. Give me a pair of eyes like Yours that see the needs of others around me. Give me ears that hear other's afflictions and give me hands that love to help out and reach out to others with the best I can. Give me a compassionate heart like Jesus', able to love unconditionally, even my enemies. Thank You God for loving us unconditionally and sending Jesus, Your only Son, to save humanity. This Christmas, help me remember the precious gift You had given me was not for me to keep, but also to be shared among others. Thank You Lord for Your love and mercy and grace. In Jesus' Name. Amen.