posted on Facebook on Christmas Eve...
This is my first Christmas eating such a simple dinner. Away from family and all the abundant good food. Missing midnight Mass and the whole hype of Christmas that I'm used to.
This year, I somehow find it hard to get into the Christmas mood. I cannot even connect much with the fact that it's Christmas Eve today. Time passes too quickly.
But what is the Christmas mood? Presents? Cribs? Nativity scenes? Carolling? Bright lights? Christmas trees? Is there a particular way I need to feel on this special night?
I do not think it is a sad fact that I'm working on this night. Neither am I over the moon. But I'm beginning to experience what this Christmas night truly means in its more authentic sense. Now that I'm void of all the external facades that are supposed to form the equation of Christmas.
One of the girls said to me just now that she doesn't like all these Christmas celebrations because she is here, separated from her family. And I told her, "Me too. I'm also not with my family. Same same." And I smiled at her. Yet not quite the same, since I'll be back with my family tomorrow.
Though I cannot imagine what it exactly is like in their shoes, there is a sense of solidarity with the poor and abused. God is using me to prove His love and faithfulness to these who are beaten down by others. And aren't there many more people out there celebrating this Christmas night alone? Perhaps even without a roof over their heads? Many foreign workers might still be working hard tonight. Who will bring them the joy of Christmas?
Then, I handed a Christmas present to our newest girl. She was surprised that there're Christmas presents for them too. With tears in her eyes, she told me she's so touched and thanked me. And my eyes became wet too. Something moved within.
God chose to enter into our lives, yes, even our very messy lives, even our at times stinky lives. And He showed this from the start of Jesus's life when He chose to be incarnated not as a mighty King on a high throne, dressed in royal robes, being waited upon in a huge palace, with an army troop securing His safety. But in a humble stable, among sheep and cattle, perhaps on a heap of hay. Smelly, noisy with the sounds of animals, messy, no facilities. Where water has to be fetched from a distance, food not served on a platter. Defenceless baby, completely vulnerable. Shabby.
What do all these mean for me? I now find myself spending this night in a stable with Jesus. And am I not more connected with baby Jesus tonight than every other Christmas nights that have passed? Tonight, I share especially in the joy of Mary, who pained to bring Jesus into our world, our lives, as I surrender my usual Christmas indulgences to bring Jesus to this very minute part of the world.
May Jesus be born anew in our hearts and through us, into our world. And joy, peace and love be thus ours to have and to share.
Blessed Christmas everyone!!! 🎄🐿