Sunday, this Christmas, we celebrated the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ, if you are a Christian. And, we also honored our friends, family, and close associates with gifts. The presents seem to have taken first place in the hierarchy of importance. I say first place because gift giving caused the cancellation of this years Christmas Service at my neighbor's church. In all my 75 years I have never heard of a church cancelling Sunday services because opening Christmas gifts and family get-together's were more important.
As my wife and I were driving to Mass this morning she shared our neighbor's disappointment. It seems that her church, a small Baptist congregational assembly, decided not to have a Christmas service for the first time in 33 years.
Our neighbor is a person who devotes herself to others in every possible way you can imagine. Her home has an open door for everyone, and I mean everyone. Stranger or not, if you need a place to stay, something to eat, or any other need you can imagine it will be met in this loving Christian home. At any one time there are from four to ten or even twelve people bedded down in these four walls. This loving Christian also cares for an invalid grand-daughter 24/7 who cannot walk or even crawl by herself. Although she is now twenty-some years of age, she was not expected to live but four to six years.
Through diligent, dedicated care, this human angel has prolonged a child's life beyond any conceivable measure. Not only does she prepare the meals for all who are there at any given time, but she decorates, cleans, works in the yard like a trooper. I am sorry she couldn't worship as she had for 33 years in her own church because of a democratic church decision. I pray for her mercy and joy.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.