Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas -- Medellín, Colombia

Literally thousands of lights deck the city, from small windows in homes to great expansions over the river. It could be called the city of lights at Christmas time in Medellín, Colombia.

Commercialism has crept into a city where years ago the focal point of Christmas was the pesebre (manger scene). Now you can see blown up Santas along with the sleigh and reindeer, as well as stores full of “stuff”.

However in the homes of the members of La Santa Trinidad congregation, the pesebre is still the focal point. A pesebre that is without Baby Jesus until December 24th. A pesebre whose figurines slowly are moved, making their way to Bethlehem from December 16th until the 24th. This is the time of the posada, 9 days before Jesus’ birth. Tradition is that the children go around to various homes in their neighborhood where they will hear a short devotion, have a snack, sing songs and receive a small gift. It is a time of great excitement.

In our churches, our people are also preparing for Jesus' birthday. A pageant of the Savior’s birth is being practiced. Special choirs gather to learn songs of joy and praise. Their focus is real, they are celebrating the birthday of their Savior, a Savior who came to live, and die, and rise again for all of their sins. Jesus, the TRUE Light of the world has come. That light in their heart and lives is the only one that counts, and makes Christmas what it truly is.

¡Feliz Navidad!