Who are you looking forward to connecting with this Christmas? For most people the answer is probably family. We get excited about gathering with relatives we see perhaps only a few times a year. When I was a kid our family’s Christmas connections were sometimes quite different though. My dad was a pastor and some years we ended up with unconventional and unexpected guests at our Christmas table – a man recently out of prison with nowhere to go; a family that showed up at our church in an old van on Christmas Day; a business traveler who worshiped with us on Christmas Eve. My parents welcomed them into our home.

I’ve been thinking about those Christmas connections in the context of our theme for this school year “You are not alone…you’re connected!” based on John 16:32b-33. On that first Christmas there were certainly some unconventional connections, weren’t there? Some shepherds out in the fields were joined by angels announcing Jesus’ birth and giving glory to God. Then those shepherds became Jesus’ family’s first guests as they connected with each other in a lowly stable around the manger. I pray that this Christmas God provides with you some special and perhaps unique Christmas connections. And like the shepherds be sure to “make known the saying that had been told them concerning this child”.