Amidst chaos, fighting, and fleeing a tiny baby was born. Persecution was set, a family sought refuge, and hope was restored. It happened in a lowly manager, a place few would have thought. A moment in time that changed forever time.
Amidst chaos, fighting, and fleeing a new country, recently born, is on the verge of large scale fighting. What became a people united in seeking refuge from war and fighting, is on the precipice once again. People in masses are seeking refuge, many fearing of what may come.
It is now, on this eve before Christmas, when I remember the Christ Child. Small, helpless, a new life began. I think of his meek beginning, but also his sorrowful end – but not really the end, but only the illusion that he was gone. And then, the raising from the dead, a new beginning, a doorway to Paradise opened, this world forever changed.
It is now, on this eve before Christmas, when I remember this newest of countries, South Sudan, struggling as most new things do, to be united, to grow, to prosper. I think of its painful past, and I pray for a hopeful future. I long for current troubles to pass, for the fighting and instability and corruption to end, for the innocent and afraid to have their hope restored.
A baby in a manager that became a man that preached and healed, a risen King that loves, that longs to be known, that seeks after the lost. It is within this King that my hope comes from. It is to this King that I pray over and over again, asking for peace, for protection for my family and friends, for a country and a peoples to know love, and grace, and mercy, and forgiveness, and truth.
I am one, but I am the son of the King. I have to believe that the King cares for all his creation, and into his hands I lift up my brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors, coworkers and kinsmen in South Sudan - asking for peace this Christmas in a place marred by violence and a disruptive past.
I am thankful for Christmas, and I will try to be merry, but my heart is heavy as I scan the news, and I call friends from afar asking for details and updates, as I long to be present here but my heart in many ways is still there.
God does not promise our days to always be merry and bright, but that is still my prayer for South Sudan on this Christmas Eve night.
Thankful for you, and wishing you a very merry Christmas,