My childhood home was in the West Oak Lane section of Philadelphia. Plymouth Street was 1 long block of row homes, and ours was a neighborhood filled with families with many children. One of my favorite childhood memories is of an event that took place every year, several days before Christmas. You see, that was the night that Santa would come to visit.
For almost a week before his arrival, my sister and I would start speculating about IF Santa would visit and exactly WHEN he would visit. And, of course, our behavior would change throughout the week so that we could honestly say that we HAD been good when Santa asked us that magical question! At last, the moment would arrive when we would hear Santa jingling his bells as he went from house to house, visiting with every boy and girl in our neighborhood. My sister and I would wait in breathless anticipation for Santa’s knock on our front door. I don’t think I will ever forget the vision of Santa sitting in our living room, asking us what we wanted for Christmas, and giving us a freshly baked gingerbread man.
In reality, our neighborhood “Santa” was a wonderful elderly neighbor, who lived at the far end of the street from my home. The large gingerbread cookies were lovingly made by his wife. And each year, their simple act of kindness brought a wonderful sense of joy to the many families in my neighborhood.
In just a few short weeks, we will be celebrating Christmas. As we begin to prepare our homes for this festive holiday, I invite each of us to also spend some quiet time, preparing our hearts for the arrival of the Christ child. I invite all of us to pause and listen for the sound of the heavenly chorus of angels, proclaiming the birth of the Messiah. I invite all of us to hold our breaths and wait in breathless anticipation for the sound of a baby’s cry, reminding us to Rejoice! for Emmanuel has truly come to save us all and call us as His own.
From David, Kevin, Jenna and myself, our wish is that you and your family may experience God’s deepest joy, love and saving grace this blessed Christmas season.
In Christ’s love, Pastor Patti