A very African Christmas…

… temps in the 70s, no Christmas specials on TV, few decorations, and from Lesa’s angel ornament collection, only 3 of 173 fit onto our tree this year. It got me to thinking how for many people in the southern hemisphere, the entire Christmas repertoire makes little sense (Frosty the snowman, Chesnuts roasting on an open fire, Over the river and through the woods, Twas in the bleak midwinter)!

We know Christmas isn’t really about all that. These are seasonal things… but somehow they are wrapped up in that warm, gingerbread-latte feeling of the holiday. Our family has been watching Home Alone and Wonderful Life and other Christmas movies trying to remind ourselves that this actually is Christmastime. It’s our first Christmas away from our home culture!

But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir. (Galatians 4)

When Kenyans do Christmas, there’s no trees and presents. They go to church, and they have a big meal together with extended family. We should be celebrating Christmas like that, like a family around a table, because God sent his Son that we might receive the full rights of sons. Jesus is as our brother, closer than a brother in fact. We are family, and heirs, together: Kenyan, American, Brazilian… It’s not a ceremony, it’s a birthday party.

As we have said before, we are so thankful for the opportunity to be ministering in Africa, and for all of you who have helped to make this happen. We pray this Christmas season you will grow in enjoyment of Christ and the gift he gave the world in leaving all the comforts of his home for the sake of ministering to us.

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