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Angel Tree Blessings

posted Jan 17, 2019, 10:36 AM by Christina Barnes

    Christmas Eve brings with it many memories of family gatherings and beautiful candle-lit worship services, but perhaps the most wonderful of all is the delivery of the Angel Tree gifts that are piled up high under our tree in the Fellowship Hall. Bicycles and dolls and food all wrapped and tagged and ready to go as soon as they are sorted – why you’ve never seen such a sight unless you have joined one of the many teams that travel to the families chosen through our school guidance counselors for a little extra help making Christmas merry and bright.

I was fortunate enough to travel with two teams making deliveries this year. The first was a single mom with a middle school son. When we arrived and unloaded, a family friend met us at the door. We unpacked the cars with gifts and food and then out came the beloved bicycle. With that the mother appeared, crying and hugging us all: “All my son wants for Christmas is a bike! I had no idea you’d bring him one.” Her tears of joy mixed with ours were sacramental as heaven met earth, Christ’s hands touching others.

The second visit was two weeks after Christmas, a snag in the system of poverty. The family moved suddenly due to circumstances beyond their control and a language barrier prevented us from knowing how to find them. Our disappointment at not being able to deliver Christmas joy was tangible as we unloaded the gifts back at the church. When school started back we reconnected with our family and our second delivery was successful. Six children eager and ready, toys and ribbon flying as gifts were opened; a mother overwhelmed as she opened a box with food; and a family learning that Christmas truly is about Emmanuel, God with us, shown through strangers who search to find you to deliver gifts meant just for you. This is the beauty of being a part of the body of Christ. Joy is from the heart and not always found where we think. But oh, the blessing when it comes.   

 

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