This was written by our teammate Kiersten a few weeks ago. She describes the meaning of Christmas so well, I just wanted to share it with you.
I was marveling with my roommate Judy yesterday how it does not feel like Christmas here. Setting up Christmas decorations while sweating… can’t say I have ever done that before. Christmas is not a holiday that is celebrated here. The city keeps moving, the schools keep teaching, and everyone goes to work just like any other day. Being in a place that doesn’t do the gift buying, the big posters and advertising, the Santa clause and the snow causes you to truly reflect on what Christmas is all about.
Louise spoke in church last week on the story of Mary which really resonated with me. There was no translation so she asked us to spend time reflecting on our own. why God chose Mary. I spent the next while looking over the scripture and wondering why God picked someone like Mary and why God picked anyone at all. God could have done it all on his own. A few words that stuck out to me in the story were humble, obedient, bondservant. Mary found favour with God, and was obedient, responding to the angel “Behold the bond-slave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word” (Luke1:38) She mirrored Christ’s character from Philippines 2.
“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
God had a plan to send his Son to the earth as a gift, a wonderful gift that would change the world. God chose to use someone, to have someone be a part of his plan, to deliver this gift to the world. He chose Mary. He didn’t need to chose someone but he did and because she was humble and obedient she got to be a part of something amazing!
Being in Thailand has had its ups and downs, the days where I love it and wouldn’t rather be anywhere else but also the days where I miss family, friends and the normal routines of life. When I stop though to think about how Christ came to earth, I look at Mary. Being a part of Gods plan and being obedient rocked her world. Flipped it upside down. But a miracle happened through her. I have the opportunity to be humble, to be obedient and to be used by a great and mighty God and be a part of something miraculous.
Last night (Dec. 16th) we did an outreach in a couple from the churches neighbourhood. There were around 400 people there. It was a beautiful chaos. We ran carnival games, sang worship songs, carols and served food. The best part was that we had the opportunity to share the true gift of Christmas with everyone. We displayed the gospel and Christ’s great plan for us through Drime, testimonies and a depiction of the Christmas story.
We have many outreaches like this for the next week leading up to Christmas. This Christmas for our team is one all about giving, giving the true gift, Jesus Christ to the people of Thailand. I have never felt so much joy and excitement surrounding the Christmas season and I am letting God rock my world like he did Mary’s by trying to be humble and obedient to what he is doing through me this season.