Today is St Nicholas Day, commemorating the man whose secret gift giving became the model from which Santa Clause grew. But there is very little in the life of St Nicholas that resembles the gift giving of Santa Clause as we now know it. St Nicholas gave to the poor, in secret. His gifts often helped draw people out of poverty into self respect.
I thought of that as I chose this post today was sent as a fundraising letter from my friend Edith Yoder, Executive Director of Bridge of Hope. Bridge of Hope is an organization that provides mentoring for homeless single parent families. It was named by The Externally Focused Network as one of the best 29 ideas for what it means for a church to be externally focused.
I love the Christmas season. I cannot help it. There is a twinkle in 5-year-old Jenn’s eyes when she asks me how many days till “the Christmas feast.” And my mom reminds me daily how many more days until our family gathers on Christmas Eve. But it’s more than just the food and family that draws me to the Christmas season.
By saying “yes” to God’s action in the world, we are becoming, like Mary, one of the God-bearers in our world – one who is willing to smuggle God into the world we live in each day.
Six years ago, I had coffee and breakfast with Rosita, Kathleen and Dawn in State College, Pennsylvania. And they dared to say “yes” to smuggling God into their world. From their “yes” to God, today Bridge of Hope Centre County is serving homeless single mothers and mentoring churches in their local community – and transforming lives.
Today 1 in 4 children in the U.S. is living in poverty. Check out this 60 Minutes video from November 26 about homeless families who are living in their cars. Your church or agency can be the bridge needed, today, for a family experiencing homelessness.
This Advent season is the time to consider how you might smuggle God into the world to transform lives of hungry and homeless single mothers . Go ahead – be a God-bearer in your world! Be a bridge of hope.