Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas 2011


Dear Friends,
This is a great season of the year as we look forward to and celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Each of us has our own traditional songs, foods, and customs that we enjoy participating in during this season.  We in America normally think of Christmas in terms of a winter season with snow scenes, Christmas trees, presents, hot apple cider, Santa Claus and his elves, nativity plays at church, and so on.  As I was looking for information about how Christmas is celebrated in Africa, the little video clip (at the end of this article) caught my attention. I did not take the footage, but I think those who did would not mind sharing it with you.  It is from a little church somewhere in rural Tanzania.

I liked this African Christmas song because it gives you a very good idea of the typical church setting and singing that I will be experiencing on my upcoming trip to Tanzania in February 2012.  We need to remember that the Advent of Christ's birth goes beyond our cultural norms and concepts.  His Advent is just as real in a the hot slums of Niarobi as it is in the snowy fields of Michigan.  The question for us all is:  has His Advent taken place in our own hearts and how does that affect our lives?  May you be blessed and encouraged by the joy of our African brothers and sisters as you celebrate our Savior's birth.

(A note:  The photograph at the top of this article is the interior of a little nativity barn I made for our first Christmas together the year Julie and I were married, almost 22 years ago.  Our children enjoy setting it up at the beginning of Advent each year.)

May the peace of Christ be with you. 
Br. Nathan


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