When you think of the original Christmas story and the fix that Mary and Joseph found themselves in as they travelled back to Joseph’s childhood home for a census, you can see how providing comfort for others in this season is such an important part of the celebration.
My first public performance ever was at the West Newton Friends Meeting fiftyish years ago. I played the inn keeper in the annual Christmas play. My job that day was to fill the role of the one guy in Bethlehem that would go a little out of his way to provide comfort for this young couple about to become a family. Perhaps as a result of my stage debut, I have always considered the inn keeper to be a pretty important Christmas character. He made sure that comfort and shelter were available to this family in need.
Care and comfort for our fellow man became part of the Christmas story for me.
Many years ago at another Christmas, my family awaited the arrival of my uncle who had just experienced the mysterious misfortune of divorce. I didn’t really know much about this divorce thing, I’d barely heard of it. But Mom was preparing to welcome my uncle even though my aunt and cousins wouldn’t be with him. I remember my Mom being so nice and making such an effort to make sure us kids didn’t ask any uncomfortable questions. And, of course, the house was warm and full of decorations and the beautiful aromas of Christmas.
As I look back now, I realize Mom was putting special effort into providing some comfort to my uncle. In the season of giving and of family, she wanted to play her role as comforter in chief for a man who was certainly missing his own family traditions with his children.
If we’re doing our job right, our community, too, plays the role of comforter to those in need at Christmas. And, we hope, all year long.
We see the local law enforcement involved in “Shop With a Cop,” the Spencer Exchange Club’s “Bikes for Tykes,” and many other programs are in progress now to provide a little comfort for local children. Our Spencer – Owen Schools are supporting students over the Christmas break with their “Backpack Buddies” program.
Many local churches will be hosting Christmas Eve services which can provide so much comfort to people who may draw joy from experiencing this particular yuletide tradition. Maybe you can even find a Christmas pageant and watch some budding thespian play the role of inn keeper for their stage debut.
On Christmas Day, the Owen Valley Christian Fellowship will serve a free, hot meal, from 7 to 9 a.m. at the Spencer Lions Club at 59 N. Main Street in Spencer. Everyone is invited. Those unable to attend, but who would like a hot breakfast delivered, can call the church office at 812-828-9840 by the end of the day December 23rd.
So, no need to set up a neo-natal unit in your stable, there are lots of ways to provide comfort to those in need this holiday season. We’ll all be at work this season providing comfort to friends and family by maintaining our own special Christmas traditions, but our community will be working to comfort those in need. I think there will be lots of help and comfort available again this year. Please join in the love of Christmas and show caring for those in need.
Your Owen County Community Foundation is committed to helping our communities become better places to live, grow, and work. We value Christmas spirit and providing comfort to those in need.
If you would like to find out more about how you can support this local charity and our work in Owen County, give me a call at 812-829-1725, email me at email@example.com, visit us online at www.owencountycf.org, or stop by our Christmassy office at 60 E. Market Street on the south side of the Courthouse Square in Spencer.
Our offices will be closed on Monday, December 24th and for Christmas on Tuesday the 25th and we may be wandering in a little late on Wednesday the 26th just to be honest. The board and staff of your Owen County Community Foundation wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2019!