Tuesday, December 09, 2014

It's a (not so) wonderful life

We all know that classic Christmas movie: “It’s a Wonderful Life”.
A man ready to jump to his death is given a second chance when an angel visits him.
He then happily rushes home to hold his family, singing as community members pour out love and support.

For many newcomers we work with, this is not what Christmas is like.
They suffer in silence, loneliness and often succumb to abuse and violence as despair sets in.
Crying tears of sadness and depression, rather than tears of joy as “an angel gets his wings”.

That’s one of the reasons we give so many gifts each Christmas.
Trying to reach out and bring hope, love, friendship and Jesus to them.
Each day from mid-November we pack Christmas baskets and gifts for lonely new immigrant families.
Last Saturday was just like any other day. We were packing baskets until the unthinkable happened.
The entire Don Valley Parkway was suddenly closed.
Traffic became unbearable. Ambulances started to fly past us. What was going on?

Sadly what was going on was one of the worst murder/suicides in this country in recent memory.
As we were packing baskets a man living across the street allegedly murdered his wife and kids,
then jumped from a bridge onto Toronto’s busiest highway. The investigation is still underway.

This tragedy is a reminder of how much each of us need to reach out this Christmas!
Thousands of families just like them need to hear of Jesus and his love!
Lonely desperate women in abusive situations need to be comforted.
Children hoping for a better tomorrow need a chance to follow Jesus.
Men must be asked to repent as they are confronted by the claims of Christ!

Sadly it was too late for this family.
Pray that God would lead you to those that need help this Christmas!
As you plan feasts and gatherings with family over the next few weeks,
Remember Jesus' words to all of us :
Luke 14:12: "When you put on a (Christmas) banquet,” he said, “don’t invite your friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors. 13 Instead, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. 14 Then at the resurrection of the righteous, God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you.”
Is this what your Christmas party will look like this year?
Will the poor, crippled, lame and blind be at your table? At your banquet?
This Christmas, as you watch that classic movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”,
pray for many who are outcasts, immigrants, poor,
and be that angel who visits and rescues them in time!

No comments: