Sunday, December 26, 2010

Holy Family Sunday

December 26, 2010
The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
Sir 3:2-6, 12-14
Col 3:12-21
Mt 2:13-15, 19-23

So there's a story told about a deacon in a church who wasn’t deaking. He just didn’t do what he was supposed to do as a deacon.

One day the pastor said to the deacon, “I have a group of young people who go to the old folks home and put on a prayer service once a month. Would you drive them to the old folks home and at least do that?” The deacon agreed.

The first Sunday the deacon was at the old folks home, he was in the back with his arms folded as the kids were doing their thing up front. All of a sudden, someone was tugging at his arm. He looked down, and there was this old man in a wheelchair. He took hold of the old man’s hand and the old man held his hand all during the service. The next month that was repeated. The man in the wheelchair came and held the hand of the deacon.

The next month, the next month, and even the next month.

Then the old man wasn’t there. The deacon inquired and he was told, “Oh, he’s down the hall, right hand side, third door. He’s dying. He’s unconscious, but if you want to go down and pray over his body that’s all right.”

The deacon went and there were tubes and wires hanging out all over the place. The deacon took the man’s hand and prayed that God would receive the man, that God would bring this man from this life into the next and give him eternal blessings.

As soon as he finished the prayer, the old man squeezed the deacon’s hand and the deacon knew that he had been heard. He was so moved by this that tears began to run down his cheeks.

He stumbled out of the room and as he did so he bumped into a woman. She said, “He’s been waiting for you. He said that he didn’t want to die until he had the chance to hold the hand of Jesus one more time.”

The deacon was amazed at this. He said, “What do you mean?”

She said, “Well, my father would say that once a month Jesus came to this place. ‘He would take my hand and he would hold my hand for a whole hour. I don’t want to die until I have the chance to hold the hand of Jesus one more time.’”

Christmas works when we let Jesus take us into unfamiliar territory — a nursing home, a neighbor’s home, or into something even more bizarre, like an attitude adjustment, a generous spirit, a helping hand. Whatever.

The point is that whenever and wherever we go, we are the hand of Jesus to others, and when that happens — Christmas happens.

Christmas works!