Christmas and Family: Good News for Everyone
By Eunice Arias and Luis Aramayo
"Christmas is a time to share with family." Our ears, thoughts, and hearts are so full of such words that we believe that without family there can be no Christmas. For those who can't physically be with our families, Christmas can be a time of sorrow instead of rejoicing.
We grieve because our families live far away from us, and we or our families don't have enough money for plane tickets. We are angry because our country's--our world's--economic crisis has compelled us or our families to move overseas. We are sad because we cannot see our grandchildren grow or be with those who are sick or losing their strength.
Wars kill or break apart people, families, and communities, forcing them to go from one place to another, without land, jobs, food, water, or the possibility of a dignified life.
Lauren F. Winner wrote in the 2008 Upper Room Disciplines: "We need the adult version of the Christmas story--the story that recognizes that even though it's December, not everything and everyone feels cheery. What genuinely good news, then, to know that Advent is the season when we await not just a cute baby in a manger. During Advent we await the one who comes to bind up the brokenhearted."
This is Good News not for a distant future but for today. God is--and has been--already working to fill people's hunger for good things. God is already standing up for and exalting the weak.
This is the true Christmas: Good News for God's global family. God will turn our weeping into joy. It may not be immediate, but the divine promise is a promise we can trust. Moreover, we can trust that those who weep are not alone: Jesus--who knows about grief, treason, and loss--weeps with us.
One Christmas carol we have says:
To everyone who waits,
Every day the Lord is born.
We wish you 365 days of Christmas: Emmanuel, God with us, God in your life, God in your family's life.
We hope you may be able and eager to help others celebrate Christmas all year long by:
- • wiping away tears
- • feeding the hungry
- • giving water to thirsty people and clothing to those in need
- • receiving the stranger
- • visiting the sick and those in prison
- • seeking your own and others' liberation from all kinds of oppression (including indifference, weariness, or lukewarm love)
- • sharing faith.
Proclaim the Good News: JOY TO THE WORLD, THE LORD IS COME!
Eunice and Luis
Salinas, Uruguay, December 2008
Eunice Arias and Luis Aramayo are Global Ministries missionaries serving in Uruguay.