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2 min read

The True Light of Christmas

“In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overpower it.”  (John 1:4-5)

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Everywhere you look, the lights of Christmas are hanging off roofs of homes, store windows, yard décor, and trees. What memories come to your mind surrounding the lights of Christmas?

Maybe you recall driving through decorated neighborhoods, or gifts under the red and green lit Christmas tree, or the blinking star above the manger, or the glow from candles at the table for Christmas dinner. I have fond memories of bringing in the Christmas season by taking our family on the city bus to see the pretty lights all over the South Hill neighborhoods. Our kids would “ooh” and “ahh” as we traveled from house to house. I wonder: What would Christmas be like without any lights? 

Over the years, even throughout this joyful season, I’ve heard unbearable stories of hardship and loss from our shelter guests. Some have deserted their families, others are overcome by addiction and trauma. Many have experienced abandonment, and most can’t afford gifts or a holiday meal for their children. When relationships are broken, or if there’s poverty or shame, that bright light of Christmas quickly dims. Relationships are at the core of how God designed us, so when that part of life is missing or in disrepair, it severely impacts our ability to live out our purpose and experience joy.

 

“I hope this story reminds you that Jesus, the Light of the World, is working through you to alter the lives of those who were once in darkness and now walk in His light.”

 

One of the most far-reaching results for someone who has chosen to enter recovery is the restoration of ruptured relationships with their loved ones. As you previously read in the newsletter, or will read below, Jorian opened his heart toward change and allowed God to redeem his past. This life change led Jorian and his family to be radically restored. I hope this story reminds you that Jesus, the Light of the World, is working through you to alter the lives of those who were once in darkness and now walk in His light.

For the last three years, Caryl and I have spent our Christmas morning with the residents at the UGM Center for Women and Children in Coeur d’Alene. It warms my heart to watch the faces of the women and children light up as they receive gifts provided by the community.  In that moment, the darkness of their past fades and is replaced with an overwhelming awareness of the generosity bestowed on them. Big smiles and laughter fill the room. Kids play with their new toys and moms try on their new outfits. Light fills the room and hope is restored.

Thank you for bringing the Light of Christmas to our guests. The decorations will come down, but the true light of Jesus will remain in their lives every day of the year because of you.  

 

 

Find Jorian’s story and all articles from the Winter 2023 Mission News below.

View the print version of the Winter 2023 Mission News.

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