Oh my friends, during this COVID year it is harder than ever to know what to give others and how to support others. Yet, think of the following legend of the poinsettia when you get discouraged about knowing what to give to someone or how to be a help this Advent/Christmas season.
There was once a poor Mexican girl called Pepita who had no present to give the the baby Jesus at the Christmas Eve Services. As Pepita walked to the chapel, sadly, her cousin Pedro tried to cheer her up.
'Pepita', he said "I'm sure that even the smallest gift, given by someone who loves him will make Jesus Happy."
Pepita didn't know what she could give, so she picked a small handful of weeds from the roadside and made them into a a small bouquet. She felt embarrassed because she could only give this small present to Jesus. As she walked through the chapel to the altar, she remembered what Pedro had said. She began to feel better, knelt down and put the bouquet at the bottom of the nativity scene. Suddenly, the bouquet of weeds burst into bright red flowers, and everyone who saw them were sure they had seen a miracle. From that day on, the bright red flowers were known as the 'Flores de Noche Buena', or 'Flowers of the Holy Night'.
The shape of the poinsettia flower and leaves are sometimes thought as a symbol of the Star of Bethlehemwhich led the Wise Men to Jesus. The red colored leaves symbolize the blood of Christ. The white leaves represent his purity.
In a normal year we get a group together to go caroling to people that could use a boost and that are not able to get out much because of health reasons. It is a gift that can't be purchased and lets people know that we love them. Well, caroling is out of the picture and even going into peoples houses is out too!! Yet, we still wanted to show that love for some that most need it this year. So we bought some poinsettias, and I have some preserves I have made, and we are dropping them off at some peoples doors. Of course we would love to do that for everyone but time and resources don't really allow that. Yet if you want to be someone that drops off a plant or two to a couple of houses we will be meeting at church this Saturday at 1pm to give out plants to deliver to the people on our list.
In addition, we are collecting donations to get gift cards for people and families that might need help getting some things for Christmas. If you want to support that you can mail a check to church or click donate on the webpage and put Christmas Care in the memo line next to the Missions: NOW line item. This week will be the last week to do this so we can figure out funds and then buy and distribute gift cards before Christmas.
Last, we need help getting the Promised Land ready for Christmas Eve "Light on the Hill" services. We want to have lights and nativity scene and a live animal or two!! Let me know if you have any ideas of how to decorate, if you want to help, or if you know where I can get a camel (donkey or cow works too)!
Friends, we can take the weeds that COVID has planted around us and present them to Jesus so that they might help bring hope and light to people in the darkness. We don't need to be rich or talented we just need to offer up what we have in love and it can become the blossom that brightens someones life.