devozine

Spiritual Practice

WELCOMING CHRISTMAS

Hope Harle-Mould

Bullet-riddled rooms building exterior in SarajevoDuring the war in Bosnia, my church in Springboro, Ohio, welcomed a family of refugees. As they arrived at Dayton International Airport, Sasha, the father, was fearful: Would anyone be there to meet them? How would he provide for his family? They had barely survived the war. What would happen to them now?

Sasha told his wife, Francika, and his young daughters, Anja and Ena, to wait on the plane. Then he peeked out to see 25 of us waiting with flowers, balloons, and teddy bears. When he saw one of our signs bearing their last name, he knew everything would be OK.

“I was a stranger and you invited me in.”
Matthew 25:35 (NIV)

When our church decided to sponsor this family, we knew that we were doing a good thing; but we had no idea that we were doing a holy thing. After they arrived, we learned that Francika’s family name was Bordzic’ (bor-ZHEE-cha), which means “Christmas.” When we welcomed these strangers, we were allowing Christmas to come and abide with us, to take residence in our midst, to change us and our world, day by day, forever.

 

REFLECT: How will you welcome Christmas into your life this year? What might change in us and in our world if we invite the spirit of Christmas to live in us and through us day by day?

—from devozine (November/December 2017). Copyright © 2017 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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