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We’re entering a season of the year when there is a huge emphasis on family.  If possible, we try to get together with other family members for Thanksgiving or Christmas…or sometime during those seasons.

But what about those who aren’t near their families?  There are so many who can’t be with family at this time of year.  They are far from home…or they may be estranged from their family for a variety of reasons.

We have always appreciated those who have invited us to be with their families for holidays over the years.  Yes, sometimes we were those who did the inviting!  It adds to the fun to share the day with friends.

Then there are those who are in the US far from their home culture.  Christmas may not even be their native culture.  English may not be their heart language.  But everyone else is gathering with their families and their families are far, far away!  They know little or nothing about the Christian faith.  They are just tired of being alone and feeling lonely.

And what about those who have only recently been divorced or widowed.  There is a grief and loss that they are suffering that is palpably painful.

Others who may be in similar straits are those like the newly moved, those who have recently lost jobs, those suffering with severe illness or recent loss of a loved one...and others who may be struggling.

Welcome others into your home and show the love of Christ to them as you enjoy this season together

This is the time of year to reach out to those who are lonely, with the love of Christ and welcome them into your family circle.  Maybe it will be on the actual holidays, maybe it will be during other times during the holiday season.  Welcome them to share food, special music, or share some of their special foods.   Share joy with them and make it a time of joy for them or their family.

Keep it simple

We don’t have to make a big todo about it.  We don’t need to make it anything fancy.  Think about the coming of Jesus the first time.  Could it be any more simple?  Being born in a manger in a barn?  You can’t get anymore simple than that!

So this Thanksgiving/Christmas season, let’s be on the lookout for those that need the love of Christ to be shown to them in the flesh!  Will it be uncomfortable and maybe even a little scary?  Of course.  But is it the right thing to do?  Absolutely!

What kinds of things have you done in the past to show these people you care about them at this “family” time of the year?

What can you do this year to show the love of Christ to them?

**No, the people in the photo aren’t lonely people.  They are part of my family.  The photo is one of a family (ours) around the Thanksgiving table.