During my childhood, Christmas was not of much celebration, but a time of family get together. It was filled with love and fun. On 24th night we used to visit branch church and there they used to have lot of cultural programs and 12 in the mid night we used to travel back home. After coming home we used to spend a little time decorating the church. On 25th we celebrate Christmas in our local church and then we go to another branch church. Our mother used to pack food for us and returning time we used to have lunch near a dam which was always our picnic spot.
Unfortunately, few years back during a Christmas season my father who was pastoring in Valparai, Tamilnadu for 30 years was diagnosed with brain tumour. It was the biggest shock for us. He had to go through a surgery. He struggled much with his health. He was not able to recover and on 25th December he went to be with the Lord.
So every year it is painful to remember, as he loved all people. He was father for all the believers. This year 25th June my mother also went to be with the Lord. She was very friendly and energetic person. After father’s death she was taking care of the church and facing all challenges boldly.
So Christmas brings those bitter-sweet memories to me every year. But it also reminds me that God Emmanuel is with me. Jesus was born as a child and he was named Emmanuel God with us. In our life journey we may go through different trials or lose our beloved ones, but we have a Saviour who has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. On this Christmas season let us travel with God who is always present with us during all the ups and downs of our life.
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14
Evangelin Laji lives in Tamilnadu, the southern part of India. She is doing her Doctoral studies in Tamilnadu Theological Seminary and also Faculty of Bethel Bible Institute. She is taking care of the ministry in Valparai, Tamilnadu where her parents served the Lord.