“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.“ Galatians 3:28
We just returned from Aruba. While the trip was wonderful, and we accomplished our primary goal of seeing flamingos up close and personal, I was struck by something else: Borders are insignificant.
We were amazed by the kinship we felt toward Arubians and folks from all over, really. The World Cup soccer competition was going on, and there was tremendous fervor regardless of where we were from or which team we supported. In fact, as we were standing among a throng watching a finals match on a big-screen outdoor TV, a Dutchman gave us an American flag!
This reminded me of Christmas Day 2014. The strains of “O Come Let Us Adore Him” reverberated as we sat down in folding chairs with about 40 other worshippers in a hotel meeting room. As I observed a variety of skin colors and heard numerous accents, I thought to myself: What brings all these people to a vacation destination on what is arguably the most sacred day of the year for Christians?
For our family of four, it was our desire for an escape from the trappings and traditions of Christmas. During the previous months, we had lost two trunks of our family tree – my dad and my father-in-law. Plus, one of my closest friends had lost her hard-fought battle against breast cancer.
Were others there trying to escape? I don’t know. But of this I am sure: On that December 25th, families from all walks of life and nationalities were united and joy prevailed as we all engaged in a shared experience – celebration of our Savior’s birth.
The same realization came upon me as we stood shoulder to shoulder with men and women of all ages and cultures to cheer on young men kicking a ball.
Shared experiences help us transcend political and ethnic barriers. Who knew that by traveling to an island and eschewing cultural traditions I would draw closer to the meaning of community – and Christmas?
O come let us adore Him!