I love this time of year. You get to bring beautifully decorated Christmas trees right into your house! As families and friends bake together or for each other, you experience the wonderful smells of gingerbread cookies and other delectable holiday treats. Another favorite is God’s incredible words in the Messiah being sung by an entire choir and accompanied by a symphony, echoing off the gorgeous walls of the cathedral as they declare God’s majesty. Attending the Nutcracker with the graceful moves of ballet dancers to delightful music is a very enjoyable. There are many traditions that mark Christmas. Malls are packed with gift searching shoppers. Other signs of the season are Christmas carolers, Christmas movies galore, The Grinch, Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus, and a red-nosed reindeer. Traveling around the world to be with family, food, food, and more food also add to this wonderful season for some.

For others, it is not a wonderful season. If you have lost a loved one at this time of year, gone through a tragic event, or don’t have family nearby, it can be a difficult time of year.

As I reflect on all the Christmas activities, I’ve realized they surround a common theme of fellowship. We were made for fellowship. It is deep within our bone marrow. It is what makes us human.

This Sunday at Hannaford the children will be performing Ebenezer Jr., a Christmas play with song and dialogue. For the past nine weeks the children have prayed, sung, memorized lines, and been sized for costumes. They have learned stage positions, microphone use, hand motions, voice projection, harmony, and how to sit still and keep their eyes on the director. They have cried, laughed, waddled like ducks, jumped like kangaroos, sang notes they held for a very long time, ate lots of snacks, squirmed and some, sprinted from their stage position to the bathroom many, many times. It is a blessing to watch the transformation in these children. At the first rehearsal they were unsure of what to do. Now they boldly sing and act. What makes the difference? Practice? Yes, that definitely helps and is a necessity. Though what makes the biggest difference is the message the kids have learned. They know now that Christmas is all about Jesus, giving, and fellowship. It’s about how God gave Jesus to us so we could have fellowship with Him. That is what this season is all about, and the children know God has entrusted them with this message to deliver to the people of Helena.

Come on Sunday and be blessed by the children reminding you of what all of us can have, and what makes Christmas such a wonderful time of year regardless of your situation, fellowship with God!