“When the time came for their ritual cleansing, in accordance with the Law from Moses, they brought Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord. They offered a sacrifice in keeping with what’s stated in the Law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
Luke 2:22, 24
I have a group of friends from Charlotte that gather every few weeks via zoom to catch up, discuss all things spiritual, and pray for each other. This week, the topic was how is Advent going. Many of the distractions of this season were mentioned, including Christmas items appearing the stores by mid-October, and the busyness of the lead-up to Christmas Eve as active members of congregations.
One woman stated that she just wasn’t into Christmas, she’d put up her tree and had presents ready to send, but just didn’t feel the Christmas spirit. She said she was feeling like the Grinch. Others shared, and then the “Grinch” piped up and said one thing had felt like Christmas.
One evening about a week ago, the doorbell rang around 5:30 pm. She rushed to the door and found a soft package from UPS on her porch. She didn’t remember ordering anything from this vendor, but since address was on the package, she opened it to find three matching pair of Christmas PJ’s, in 5 T, children’s 7, and adult small.
She checked the package once more and found a sticker with an unfamiliar woman’s name and phone number. So, she called the number. A woman picked up, and when my friend told her about the package, the woman burst into tears. The PJs had been ordered for her two sons and herself, and they were scheduled to get Christmas pictures of them dressed in the PJ’s that weekend.
She could hear two young children, cheering when they heard that the PJs had been found, and said, “Mom, it’s OK! You don’t need to cry.” The woman asked if my friend lived on the bus route, so that she could stop by after work to get them. My friend doesn’t live on a bus route, but after further inquiry discovered that the woman worked at a local donut shop. So early the next morning my friend arrived at the donut shop, package of PJs in hand. The woman, who worked in the back decorating the donuts came rushing to the counter, with a dozen freshly decorated donuts to give to my friend. They shared a few kind words and then the woman went back to work.
We church ladies had been focused on all the concerns and tasks of the season, and suddenly, as the PJ story was shared, our faces were transformed from frowns to smiles, and many of us dabbed tears from our eyes. Our very own, self-described Scrooge shared a story of grace, joy, and a Christmas photo saved, a story worth repeating.
Christmas happened, unplanned, in the providential meeting of a young single mother, my retired friend, and a mis-delivered package of PJ’s. That’s Christmas. Something small like two turtledoves becoming an offering worthy of Christmas.
Christmas can’t be bought, it can only be caught. ~ Anne