Every Wednesday during the Advent-Christmas season, we will post a reflection from Larry Livingston, CFCA church relations director. We hope these reflections help you on your own journey through Advent.
ì…let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body.î (Colossians 3:15)
A poor young couple is expecting their first child. The authorities tell them to leave their home and travel to an unfamiliar, far-off village.
When they arrive they can find no decent housing and are forced to settle into a ramshackle outbuilding.†There, with animals milling about and nothing but straw to insulate them from the chill of night, the young mother gives birth …
You know the rest of the story. It is a tale we have grown to cherish at this time of year.†It comforts us to hear it over and over again as we connect once more to Christmases past and the manger scenes of our childhood homes and churches.
It is the story of the Holy Family.
But it is also the story of other families, hundreds of thousands of them the world over.†They too are powerless against the whims of government. They too must rely on whatever shelter they can find for the sake of their children. They too struggle against displacement and weather and challenges most of us will never know.
And they, too, are holy.
Pictured is the family of Yamini, right, a sponsored child in Hyderabad, India.
At CFCA we call our sponsorship program Hope for a Family. We didnít choose that name just because we liked it, but because it reflects two important truths we have learned over the years from sponsored persons.
The first is that hope liberates people to dream and inspires them to work hard to make their dreams come true.
The second is that the best place for hope to thrive is within the family.
This is good news and we want to share it.†Like the Gospel writers who shared the wondrous accounts of Christís birth, we want to let people know that God dwells among the poor and the marginalized of this world.
And, again like the Gospel writers, we want to invite those who hear us to become part of an amazing story.
Ultimately, the story of the Holy Family is one of perseverance in the face of great challenges.
It is a story of love between husband and wife, parent and child. It is a story of trust in Godís goodness, and reliance on the kindness of other people.
And it is a story with a happy ending despite the harshness of the journey.
The CFCA community celebrates this story. It is our story as well.
- Read the first Advent reflection: Discover Christ in your daily life
- Read the second Advent reflection: Dare to dream of a better world
- Read the third Advent reflection: Invest in the gift of joyful anticipation
- Read the fourth Advent reflection: Embrace the humanity that led to our salvation
- Read the sixth Advent reflection: Modern pilgrims find a star worth following