Gordy and I walked to the Malecon last night, which is the sea wall in Santo Domingo. It’s about a 20 minute walk for us. I wanted to show Gord the life size nativity scene that sits at the foot of a monument that the dictator Rafael Trujillo built. It is in the middle of a roundabout on an extremely busy four lane boulevard. If you face the nativity scene and look down the boulevard, on the right side are huge hotels and casinos as far as you can see and on the left side is the Caribbean Sea. I was so disappointed because the scene was not in perfect condition. The three wise men were blown over and the wind had moved the donkey from its designated place. I wanted to run out in front of all the cars zooming by and set everything back up and make it the perfect nativity scene we all know.
The lesson that Reverend Betania and I wrote for the children for Christmas Day this year was that the children themselves would take the Christmas story of Jesus birth and name all the characters in Jesus’ life to be people and animals from today. And then the children did a drama sharing the birth of Jesus today in their reality.
Jesus is born to us, not in the midst of a perfect world. This is our reality. God came to earth as a new born baby and is with us, in the midst of all the hurt and confusion and suffering of the world. We are not alone. This is our hope. We say that we love God and love Jesus and if our words are alive we can share love and compassion and mercy to ALL those around us. This is God’s hope for us.
Gordy and I are so grateful for all of you. We are so blessed to be together with you in this mission as we begin a New Year, 2017. Jesus is born anew and God is with us. We can speak of hope to others, live with hope in our own lives, and share this hope with everyone around us. Immanuel !