My heart swelled as my daughter and I listened to the unparalleled Boston Pops Holiday Concert. Songs that rekindle the sweetness of childhood. I tear up every time.
Earlier last week, I basked in the warmth of Christmas dinner with our Hope House family. I realized that every one of them is an answer to a prayer we have prayed. I felt humbled at the Lord’s beautiful provision.
The beauty of Christmas, the meaning of Christmas touches our hearts in a variety of very special moments—moments, like the Pops concert and the HHD dinner, that are rare and rich.
Premier among such moments for me this year was the Living Nativity that our Hope House kids put on. Watching our kids publicly put on an outdoor production, knowing each one and their personal challenges, seeing and participating in those moments of growth and identity, those sweet moments rank among the best for me.
For example, one of our 18-year-old young men arrived just before the show started saying he needed to get in costume because he’s “always” a Wise Man. The Wise Men were already cast and costumed. So he put on an angel robe and sang with the female angel choir all three times through the show. A snapshot of a vulnerable guy who feels a sense of belonging and ownership. He wore his halo home.
I was blessed as the little shepherds kept time to the music with their shepherd crooks. As the elementary-aged Wise Men strode with purpose and determination, their robes and head-pieces flowing in their wake, I considered for the first time what that moment meant to the original Magi and to our HHD Wise Men too. That moment of finally accomplishing a long-term goal; that magic of knowing this moment was royal, this baby a king.
One of our Wise Men comes to our programming weekly with a frown on his face. But on this night, I saw him kneeling in the straw, smiling and singing along to “O Come All Ye Faithful.” He was thrilled with himself when the show was over…so happy.
I laughed when Joseph picked up the baby and moved its head around so that the doll looked almost real. And when Mary and Joseph, a third grade boy, walked down the driveway leading a live donkey by himself, it took my breath away.
These children and young people revealed that they are growing in confidence and capability, that they are precious and full of potential, that they are learning to tap into some of that potential. A Christmas moment—rare and rich.
And that is the Christmas message: that in a little Child was and is something special, something spectacular, something beautiful. That because of this Child, there is hope, there is joy, there is love. That when we come to this Child, we get a glimpse of who we are and who we can become. And that sharing glimpses of ourselves together is miraculous and lovely and ranks right up there with the Boston Pops and the warmth of communal dinner.
-Becky Gentry, Director