Sunday, 27 December 2015

Christmas Eve on our Colony

To set the mood for this post, here's a beautiful version of O Little Town of Bethlehem to listen to as you read. I love saxophone music - so peaceful, hauntingly beautiful and relaxing.



 December 24 is always very special on our colony! The school children, led by some adults prepared a live nativity scene. Around 5:00 PM we all gathered at the communal kitchen. Some were busy getting our supper ready, others were tending to their little children, but most were just mingling and visiting and waiting with anticipation.

O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight


Soon two shepherds came and told us the exciting news the angels proclaimed and that they're now going to Bethlehem to look for the baby Jesus. All of us followed them out into the freezing cold. Along the way, two angels led us towards the 'stable', where we met more shepherds sitting round a fire.


  For Christ is born of Mary
                                            And gathered all above
                                                  While mortals sleep, the angels keep
                                            Their watch of wondering love
                                               O morning stars together
                                                Proclaim the holy birth
                                             And praises sing to God the King
                                           And Peace to men on earth



Then we were serenaded by the sweet voices of angels, Glory to God in the highest... From there the angels led us into the stable nearby.  We were honoured to arrive with some very special guests from the east, the wise men, who told us that they were led by a star.

Standing around this serene scene, the little family, surrounded by angels, shepherds, wise men and live animals, we sang a number of songs and reflected on the very first Christmas and the best gift mankind ever received, one with eternal value. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16.

                                           How silently, how silently
                                          The wondrous gift is given!
                                      So God imparts to human hearts
                                           The blessings of His heaven.
                                          No ear may hear His coming,
                                               But in this world of sin,
                                  Where meek souls will receive him still,
                                            The dear Christ enters in.


It was all very touching, from the moment we started waiting in the kitchen till after we left the stable. 

Later, we gathered in the dining room of the communal kitchen again, where we enjoyed a scrumptious supper of turkey cutlets, a noodle dish, steamed vegetables and salad.

This special evening ended with everybody going to their home for their family celebration, of more singing, snacks and gift exchanges. 


                                                        
O holy Child of Bethlehem
Descend to us, we pray
Cast out our sin and enter in
Be born to us today
We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell
O come to us, abide with us
Our Lord Emmanuel

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