This devotional of stories from missionaries all over the world has two editions. The following comes from the 2nd.
Christmas Every Sunday
“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15
“We knew our first Christmas in Uganda would be celebrated differently, but we were shocked at how different. Where were the Christmas carols and the special Christmas services in the churches? Worship on Sundays during December was just like all other Sundays. The same Ugandan praise songs with many repeated verses, testimonials, greetings, and sermons were present, but all with no mention of the advent of Christ.
‘But Lord,’ I complained, ‘how can they not sing carols? How can they celebrate Christmas without singing Silent Night or sharing from Luke 2 or hanging red and green decorations?’ But they did! Mamas with babies on their backs, men, and children worshipped God with eyes closed, hands lifted in praise, and faces tilted upward with sweet smiles of adoration for their God. The Ugandans were celebrating the birth of Christ every Sunday. Christmas wasn’t defined by expensive pageants, huge Christmas gift exchanges, or even cherished traditions. It was focused joy in Christ. The ravages of war, HIV/AIDS, life in refugee camps, poverty, disease, and a short life span had taught believers the indescribable Gift given to them in Jesus. As I experienced worship with our Ugandan brothers and sisters, I was challenged to focus on Jesus, the Savior of the world.” – Claudia, Sub-Saharan Africa
This Christmas is going to look different than most. I get to celebrate Christmas until mid-January when we are finally able to visit my family. And although I can get sad when I think about not being with my entire family on actual Christmas Day, I must remember that that has NOTHING to do with why I am actually celebrating, why I am actually joy-filled this Christmas season.