The following story has been borrowed (with permission) from the Father of a dear friend. Originally emailed to his immediate family, the story has been adapted to spread encouragement to your heart as well. Enjoy 🙂

For as long as I can remember, I have loved to sing. Sunday School was always a big deal for me because I got to sing with others and listen to the harmonies of the choir. I thought it was marvellous. Heavenly, really.

Finally, I was old enough to perform in the Christmas Eve program with all the big kids. It was like a dream come true. I practiced Saturday mornings for the entire year. Our class prepared 3 whole songs to perform at the school Christmas concert as well. I was so excited! Two concerts!

I was now in grade 2, and it was the Monday morning before the first concert. My mother informed my sister Rene and I that we would no longer be going to school before Christmas, nor would there be any school concert. My heart sunk. No Sunday School program either. I was crushed.

No more Christmas concerts.

It was 1957. There was a major outbreak of mumps and measles beginning to spread at school. Attendance was steadily declining, so school would now close until after the New Year. And sure enough, the next day, Rene developed mumps and I had the measles. By Friday, my brother Ernie was also sick.

Then it was Sunday, Christmas Eve. We were at home. All our family gatherings were cancelled because all the cousins were sick. There were adults who had not yet had these illnesses, and for them to catch it was a serious matter. We settled in for a quiet, much more muted Christmas than we had originally planned.

The family gatherings were cancelled.

Suddenly, to our surprise, we heard singing outside our door! We ran to the window. A choir… was singing! CHRISTMAS CAROLERS. SINGING!

About 25 teens and young adults were singing to us. It looked like they were having so much fun! Just before they left, Aunt Betsy, part of the group, ran in and gave each one of us kids a great big hug.

Even after they’d gone, we kids were all so delighted! Gramps also really liked to sing, and so, he started. We all sang all the Christmas songs we knew. It was wonderful!

We all sang, together.

I remember that day like it was yesterday. It was our only Christmas “event” that year.

Decades later, I challenged my students to find a meaningful truth among the traditional Christmas celebrations they’ve personally cherished. To find a new “Christmas nugget” from Christ each year. Just like that Christmas of ’57. That nugget of joy – the thrill of the music that had filled my heart was a precious gift from God, to me.

Little boy looking out the window.

I still look for a “nugget” every year – a Christmas gift from the Holy Spirit, so to speak. I always find one. Sometimes a week before Christmas, sometimes two weeks after. But it will always be there.

There is an old German Christmas carol, “Welchen Jubel, Welche Freude.” It describes the glamour of the Christmas festivities, and the emptiness when it is over. It encourages us to reflect on that great gift that Jesus Christ came to bring us. Salvation, eternity with Him! The real reason for celebrating.

What will we celebrate?

It appears that we might all be celebrating Christmas at home this year, each of us with our immediate families only. How will we celebrate?

What will all of you find for your Christmas “nugget” this year?

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
– Isaiah 9:6 (KJV)

Jayna Snider

Jayna is the Communications Coordinator for Horizon College & Seminary

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