Unto us a child is born
“Merry Christmas”, the greeting automatically rolls off people’s tongues and jingles through crowded malls full of stressed consumers. We are told this is the season to be merry, joyful, happy… But I wonder: have you ever tried to measure water with a ruler? Well, sometimes we attempt to evaluate happiness with the measure given to us by our consumer society. Happy is the person who has all she desires, a house of her dreams, the body of a model, the cutest kids, the power job. Happy is he whose health, future and success is insured. Happy are those whose security is guaranteed.
The story of Christmas, however, offers us another measure. This is an unlikely, surprising, even upsetting story: God, the Creator and Sustainer of all life, enters into human history not as a king or a victorious warrior, not as a successful merchant or a prestigious philosopher. “Unto us a child is born,” the prophet had anticipated. A poor child, born into a working class family. A refugee child. So unexpected was this choice that few recognized Jesus as the expected Messiah. Few saw in his lifestyle, his teaching, or his healing the coming of God’s rule of peace, justice and abundant life. We too today may be blinded by the mirages of our consumptive society to such an extend that we fail to recognize God’s work from below, from inside, from unlikely places and unexpected people.
This days, may God grant us another ruler to measure happiness. May God give us ears to hear, eyes to see, and enough trust in God’s unexpected provision that we may enjoy the happiness that does not depend on lights and gifts, food and mirages of security. May we enjoy the happiness of living as citizens under God’s rule, seeking first God’s justice and trusting God for all the rest.
That is the word for this season in Casa Adobe. Mayita, our youngest community member, turned three. Maria Isabel and Luana head into their last term in high school and Natalia is readying herself to be the only daughter of our family still in Costa Rica. Dear members of our community, Rachel and Kelsey, have moved on. There is loss in that change: their friendship, work, ideas and simple presence are sorely missed. But there is also joy, because after a season of learning and growth they are now ready to continue serving and stretching in new places. Both will spend a few months in the US, reconnecting with family and raising support for their new ministries in Central America as partner missionaries with Christian Reformed World Missions. Rachel will be working with Seeds of New Creation in El Salvador while Kelsey will join the Nehemiah Center team in León, Nicaragua. As some leave, others prepare to come for shorter and longer terms, as guests, volunteers, interns and missioners. Meanwhile, Maya continues in Boston, Anton in Kansas, and Jonathan in California.
Through it all we treasure your prayers for the educational efforts, for the cohort of missioners, for the continuity of the Bola Bola project and the young people who are heading it up, for relationships within our community and beyond, for adjustments and adaptations on everyone’s part as group dynamics change with new faces and new personalities, for shared vision, joy and laughter along with fruitful ministry.
For all your support, thanks! And please consider a year end gift; we REALLY need your support!
Looking ahead2014 promises to be a year full of new challenges and opportunities. Among them:
- The launching of the Masters in Urban Ministries, a joint effort of the Institute of Christian Studies (ICS, in Toronto) and CETI.
- The expansion of CETI Diploma into Colombia and other countries
- The inclusion of new students from around Latin America in the CETI Masters program.
- The consolidation of the cohort of missioners, serving in various Central American countries.
- Growing partnership with the Latin American Theological Fellowshiphttp://www.ftl-al.organd the International Fellowship for Mission as Transformation http://www.infemit.org.