Happy Soul Tending Tuesday Friend,
I would imagine that many of you have decorated for Christmas and your home is filled with Christmas tunes. As I prepared to move to the field, precious space in my luggage could not be given to holiday decorations. Packing my bags in July, Christmas far off, it didn’t seem like that big of a sacrifice for Jesus to forgo decorations.
I had a decidedly different vantage point in late November as I was colder than I ever imagined I would be. Without a Thanksgiving break, this American was in need of a little holiday cheer.
Every package slip from the post office that arrived for my teammate or me was met with glee, clapping, and a happy bike ride to the post office. What a joy to open packages from friends and family with decorations that made our home feel a bit more festive. At that time, Christmas was not celebrated in China and our home was one of the few places in our daily life that marked the season.
To get a Christmas tree, Erin and I biked to the plant market and found the closest large plant to a tree. We paid a man with a cart to follow us home and deliver our “tree”—it was a Christmas tree, so though actually a plant, Christmas Plant just does not have the same poetic sound.
It looked like a Walmart, Target, or other Big Box store had exploded in our living room. Every single thing mailed to us was hung, set out, or draped on
What I might have thought of as “tacky” in another setting, was beautiful and festive. That’s what Jesus can do. He takes our realities and finds ways to infuse it with a bit of the mystery of the season.
Advent is about waiting and preparing for the birth of Christ. Often, it can feel lonely as you may be far from family. Or too busy with outreach opportunities and end of the semester hoo-ha. Whether this is your first or your fortieth year on the field, whether you are chugging along just fine or are a bit overwhelmed, Jesus wants to meet you.
More than any other, He sees you and knows what you need this month. The decorations, music, and food of the season are fun and to be enjoyed, but they are no substitute for Jesus. In the midst of it all, Jesus can and wants to meet with you. As an early Christmas gift, we know the best present we can give is to point you to Him this month.
With this in mind, we have a beautiful printout for you with 5 Ways To Meet Jesus This Advent. The five ways are specifically geared to living cross-culturally. Print it out and use it every day to meet Jesus in ways that are
P.S. It’s formatted in both Letter and A4. Download 5 Ways to Meet Jesus This Advent here.
Photo by Inbal Malca on Unsplash