Christmas: The Christ Candle

SCRIPTURE: Luke 2: 8-14

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people:to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace among those whom he favours!’

STORY # 1 :  “Mama, take me home with you!”

(scroll down for STORY # 2)

“St Joseph and the Christ Child” by Michael O’ Brien. Joseph embraces the child as his own. This represents not only the vocation of fatherhood, but also God’s call on humankind, to embrace those who are not our “own.” In this we imitate God, who entered this world and embraced us as God’s own, before we ever showed any signs of being children of God.Voice one:         

My name is Leonora. I am a social worker, in the slums of Kibera, Kenya. One day I came across a family of ten children. No parents. Crammed into a tiny one room shack. No means of fending for themselves. I bring them food whenever I can. When I leave, the smallest one clings to me. He cries, “Mama, please, take me home with you.” It breaks my heart. What can I do? We live in a small apartment. We have no more room – We already have ten orphans, ten! -and we have five children of our own.

My husband sometimes says, “We can’t do this anymore- we don’t have the facilities, the money.” But I feel in my heart that when we act for good, God provides. Through a miracle, God connected us with a church in Toronto. With their help, we’ve managed.

But there are so many cries around us. So many knocks on our door. Is there more that we can do? Two years ago we formed a cooperative of other families who also care for orphaned children so that they can receive funding. They’re called Village of Love. Now 140 children in the slums have the chance of food and school.

With God’s help, they too will be provided for. I believe that.

Voice two:         

I believe that wherever people of courage and faith take action, hope is born.

Voice three

I believe that wherever the Global Village cares, peace is born. 

Voice four

I believe that wherever the poor are lifted up and the hungry fed, joy is born.

Voice five

I believe that wherever people reach out in love, Christ is born.

Voice six

I believe that wherever we receive God’s little ones, we receive God.

PRAYER:

Leader:   Holy God,

This is the moment for which we have been waiting.

People:   Shine your light now into every waiting and expectant heart.

Fill us with your life giving Spirit

that your love, hope, peace and joy

may be born yet again in us

and all the world.

WE LIGHT THE CHRIST CANDLE

Leader:   As we light the Christ Candle,

we welcome the light of Jesus Christ into our hearts and into the world.

People:   Come Lord Jesus Christ, Light of the World,

warm our hearts with your hope and love.

Shine your light of  peace and justice,

till the whole earth is filled with your joy.

 

 STORY #2   “Making Room in the Inn”

I am Bella. I have one older sister and three younger ones. At least that was true till eight years ago. I came home one day to find my parents had brought home a little girl from the country, four years old. A sickly little thing. We were expected to make room for her in our bed. I was not pleased. At least she did not eat very much.

Then there appeared two boys- their parents died of AIDS- and a few months later, another boy. And they DID eat! What were my parents thinking? We were not rich. Our food became very simple. Sometimes there was not enough. School fees had to be paid, but there was not enough for us all. I wanted to be a lawyer- I HAD to go school. What if it was me who was sent home for lack of fees? I complained bitterly, “It’s not fair!”

My mother sat me down and said, “Bella, if I were to die,and if your father were to die, wouldn’t you want a loving family to take care of you, give you a chance?” Well, that made me really think…. What was not fair was that all these orphaned children around me had to fend for themselves, while I had loving parents, a home and food. I did not complain again!

My brothers and sisters and I have been very fortunate. A church in Toronto has sponsored our education. I am now in my final year of law school, training to become a human rights lawyer. I have a friend here at university who comes from a very poor family. A sponsor pays his fees, but he has no lap top. And so I share mine with him.

When my mother heard this, she said to me, “Bella, if you are sharing your lap top, how can you do your own work?” I explained to her, “I give this boy my lap top for 3 hours a day. I get up every morning at 3 am and work for 3 hours before breakfast. It’s what you taught me, Mama, to sacrifice a little so someone else can be included in my good fortune.  I know I didn’t get here on my own. Someone helped me. Helping someone else, gives me a sense of peace.”

This is what I want in life- fairness, room for everyone to have a chance.