The annual meal put on by the Marrazzo family for the homeless on Christmas day in Penndel, PA was an act of compassion. Helping those who have nowhere to go for Christmas have the companionship of others, many of whom only see each others at the meals shows shares the joy and self-sacrificing love of Jesus, the reason for the season.
The Christmas dinner was a time of peace and goodwill in Penndel. There was plenty of good food served by caring hosts. There was even enough for take home. A sick friend I’ve been taking care of didn’t make it, so the take homes came in handy. She loves mushrooms, and one of the servers gave me a generous amount to take home for her. Having “leftovers” to zap in the microwave gave me a break, as taking care of my weak friend with lung cancer stresses and wears me out.
The meal was an oasis in a desert of incessant ads and jingles, clichés that wear on the nerves. It’s good to know that beyond the surface glitter there is something noble.
Christ was born in Bethlehem to save us from sin and to show us the way – to become more like him. Jesus healed the sick and lame and helped the downtrodden, accepting them for whom they are, a creature made in the image of God.
Christmas is not about a baby in the manger. It’s about Jesus coming to earth, being one of us, suffering like humans, being tempted but, being perfect, he had victory over sins on our behalf. It was the gift given graciously out of mercy for our fallen state.
Columnist Cal Thomas puts Christmas in perspective:
Christmas is just a one time celebration, but a reminder of why Christ came to earth that we should hold dear all year long. It’s not just an isolated moment. To adapt lines from an old love song, Christmas is not just a moment’s pleasure, but a lifelong treasure. God is not a distant concept; he is ever present.
God is found in all creation. He didn’t make the earth and people then go off to a distant cloud like the pagan gods of old, but he is alive.
“The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth.
The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous.
They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
By them your servant is warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
But who can discern their own errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”