As we walked around the neighbourhood last night, I made a comment about the people that still had their Christmas lights on. We could even see Christmas trees still alight in some living rooms.
Is it proper, or is it just a bit pathetic to hang on to Christmas, even as we reach the midway point of January? It all depends what we are hanging on to. At Edmonton Christian Schools we want to live as Christmas (and Easter) people all year long. We want to be reminded every day of God’s radical and relentless love for His creation. We want to live as redeemed people and thankfully bring our gifts in service of our Saviour. Most of all we want to courageously follow Him into the beautiful and difficult places of life, bringing hope and healing. After all, the mission of our school speaks of “Christ centred education.” This is an education that is always connected to Christmas and the new story that “God with us” ushered in!
There was a part of Christmas at Edmonton Christian Schools that we can humbly give thanks for today. Generosity. There were so many stories that they could not all be told. Here is a list of some of them:
- a huge hamper of items was collected at the high school for a family with economic struggles.
- ECWS Grade 1, studying community, brought in traditional foods from different communities and then donated them to the above hamper.
- gloves were collected (ECHS) and purchased (ECNS) for people living life on the street.
- cookies were baked by the ECHS Foods Studies class for a Mosaic Centre celebration.
- treat bags were lovingly made for the youth in the Edmonton Young Offenders Centre (Gr 1 ECNS)
- shoeboxes for Samaritan’s purse were assembled by Kindergarten classes at ECWS and ECNS
- cards were made for and distributed to the school neighbourhood (ECNS Grade 1)
- funds from the ECNS Christmas performance were used to buy items on the Mosaic Centre shopping list—socks, gloves, postage stamps etc.
- paper bags were decorated with messages of Christmas hope by students and sent to Hope Mission for the lunches they distributed from their rescue trucks. (ECWS)
- songs were sung with and for seniors. Music was performed for our community in Christmas concerts.
- a community pancake breakfast was served.
- Syrian food relief efforts, begun in the late fall, were culminated– $ 10,582 raised by the Social Studies 9 class at Northeast School alone! (Another ~$6000 at the other campuses)
No doubt there are some stories of generosity which have inadvertently been left out, but it is clear that this community is blessed and it knows how to bless others. Maybe we should take the decorations down soon, and haul that tree to the curb, but this part of Christmas, this way of paying forward the gift of God’s love in Christ Jesus, this we should hang on to all year!
by Brian Doornenbal, Edmonton Christian Schools’ Storyteller