By Brian Lee, Trinity Member and Lay Leader
One of my father’s first memories of Christmas was a fire truck. In the mid-1960s, my father’s family immigrated to the United States from China and settled in New York City’s Chinatown. The local police station had a program to give toys to immigrant kids in the neighborhood. My father fondly recalls receiving a fire truck from a police officer for his first ever Christmas. Although times were tough for my father’s family as they struggled to make a new life in the U.S., Christmas was always a time for joy and chance for him to be a kid.
Growing up, I was not raised in the church. However, we did have Christmas. At the nudging of some family friends, my parents bought an artificial Christmas tree and we celebrated Christmas. One of my father’s friends told him that Christmas was for everyone. Like all children, my siblings and I grew up being excited this time of year at the prospect of cookies and presents. As I became older and learned the Christmas story, it puzzled me. At the time, it was strange to think that God would take on human form. It was not until I was a college student that I fully understood the significance of the Incarnation.
I share my father’s story as well as mine because it shows the invitation that Advent and Christmas presents us. As Christians, we are invited to share with the world the joy we have found in Jesus and to invite everyone to celebrate with us whether they believe or not. Jesus’s arrival was not for any particular group of people, but for all people. We believe that God’s grace is always at work and is working in all people. During this holy time, please take this chance to invite the people around you to celebrate the birth of Christ– whether it’s attending an organ concert, sharing a plate of delicious cookies, or smiling.