Following Jesus

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Following Jesus

Christmas Comes Home

December 6, 2018 by

Christmas is about the birth of a baby. I guess I’ve known that all my life, but it never came home to me like it did last year. As my husband and I looked forward to the arrival of our first child, I thought about all the other women in the world in my condition. This time last year the Rohingya people, Syrians, and other refugees were in the headlines, and I wondered what it would be like to welcome a baby into a refugee camp or asylum centre. I also thought about a young woman thousands of years ago, making the difficult journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

baby with his father's hand

My son arrived early in the morning on Christmas Eve. In the hospital surrounded by first class medical treatment, I thought again of those refugee mothers and those in developing countries where access to medical care is virtually unavailable. Those women were experiencing the first Christmas, where a mother gave birth to a child in a stable.

A hospital is few people’s favourite place to spend Christmas, but the staff did their best to make the ward festive and cheerful. And in the evening, a group of carolers filled the halls with “Silent Night.” I was missing almost everything that I associated with Christmas: the decorated tree, the special food, the live Nativity on Christmas Eve, the opening of presents on Christmas morning, and sitting around with family to listen to the Christmas carol countdown and the Queen’s speech in the afternoon. But as I held the miracle of my newborn son in my arms I knew this was probably the most real Christmas I would ever celebrate.

Now Christmas is approaching again. As our community choir rehearses Handel’s Messiah, we sing the words that were on the first card I received from friends the day my son arrived: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given” and in my mind I’m back there in the hospital with the overworked holiday-shift midwives rushing around. I’m also back in the refugee camps and most of all, in that stable in Bethlehem. The words of the Messiah continue:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9: 6)

Jesus is the Prince of Peace and I live in hope for that day when his peace will conquer the whole world. And as I care for my son and do my best to raise him I am doing it for Him and for all His children.

Sarah with her husband and one-year-old son Sarah and Woon with their son, now a year old.


Sarah Kang lives at Beech Grove, a Bruderhof in England, with her husband, Woon, and their son.

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