Everyone fell silent. Games had been played and laughter had been abundant. Then, the narrator shared the Nativity story in the local language. The joyous partygoers — 80 Muslim villagers — were filled with anticipation. They were celebrating their very first Christmas!
Owen and Abby*, EMM workers in Southeast Asia began holding get-togethers to build relationships with their neighbors. After the second gathering, the community was eager to learn more about the celebration of Christmas. This interest in Christian holidays was not normal for this village — so Owen and Abby jumped at the opportunity to have a Christmas party. Everyone was excited!
Their excitement to learn more about Christ brings to mind the Magi who traveled to find Jesus:
“When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him” (Matthew 2:10–11a).
May we, like the Magi, have this same anticipation for Christ in our everyday lives. May we also be like the neighbors who came to Owen and Abby’s Christmas party, eager to experience Jesus. Lastly, may we be overjoyed in Christ, compelling us to share with others the hope and life that is found in Him.
Merry Christmas to you in this joyous season!
Eastern Mennonite Missions
*Names changed for sensitivity reasons.