21 Dec Merry Christmas
“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:30-33)
I love this season of Advent.
It’s a time to pray, ponder, and anticipate Christ’s birth – a promised birth that turned every sin and evil thing on its head. The beauty of Christmas astounds me, and because of you, Wheeler shares it with every guest.
Last week, our whole staff came together for our annual Christmas gathering. I shared with my team that 2018 was our record-setting year: on a single night, between every facility in Indianapolis and Bloomington, we sheltered 911 men, women, and children.
I don’t share this to boast–just the opposite, actually. Because that number is well over our usual capacity, hundreds of guests had to sleep on cots and mats. Sheltering nearly 1,000 people at once is tragic, and I’d much rather see that number go the other direction. Overcrowded facilities are constant reminders of the brokenness, poverty, and devastation within our communities.
And yet, I’m so glad our neighbors keep turning to Wheeler for help.
I reminded my team that no matter how stretched, tired, and discouraged we are, we’ll always bring in anyone who needs us. While we care for soaring numbers of people, we have a unique, God-given opportunity to present the Gospel message and miracle of Christmas.
Our Savior, Jesus, was born under the most unusual circumstances. In an overcrowded town, Jesus entered our chaos. Because there was no room for him, he spent his first earthly night in a manger.
And he did that for each one of us.
Whether they’re sleeping on beds or cots, my prayer is that this Christmas, our guests will grasp that God’s unending love is for them. And may that love awaken hope.
In moments of fear, uncertainty, and chaos, let’s all turn our eyes to the One who gave up everything to bring us eternal peace.
May God bless you and your family, and merry Christmas!