(Photo by Selma Komisky)
My Christmas Story
By Michelle Ochen
The holidays have a way of bringing people together. It is commercialized to be spent with biological family, but for many the reality of spending it with family is not possible. Perhaps distance, death, divorce, or other unfortunate events keep many from experiencing the holiday with family. When we look back at the history of Christmas, it brings comfort to our hearts because it was a time of people gathering together, blood relation or not, and celebrating how thankful they were to be with each other on the holiday.
God has given a beautiful gift of genetic family, but He has also given a beautiful gift of friendships in our life that can have bonds as strong as family and can fill that capacity in our hearts.
1 Corinthians says that God has made, from one blood, all the people of earth through His Son Jesus; we are all one big family in His eyes. This truth has brought my heart much comfort as I have spent most of my adult years away from my immediate family at Christmas time. Missionary work caused many Christmases to pass amongst a different kind of family. To the best of our abilities we would still prepare a classic thanksgiving meal, but we would share it with those who were not physical family; regardless. our hearts were bonded over the meal and we found new things and relationships that we were thankful for.
I want to propose a challenge for those who are unable to spend Christmas with biological family this year. It may just be the year that God wants to introduce you to a new relationship in your life that He can use to fill your heart with joy and thankfulness as we reflect on all the good He has done in one another’s lives.