By Stephen Judd
The darkest time in the year,
The poorest place in the town,
Cold, and a taste of fear,
Man and woman alone,
What can we hope for here?
More light than we can learn,
More wealth than we can treasure,
More love than we can earn,
More peace than we can measure.
Because One Child is born.
– Christopher Fry
Today, December 21st, is a very special day and has been throughout recorded history. The reason that it is so special is that it is the shortest day of the year. In other words, “this is as dark as it gets.” In a sense you could say that from here on it gets brighter! The 22nd of December, and the days following, are indeed brighter and better days.
Did you know that for thousands of years, most people in the world, regardless of culture, have chosen a day shortly after the 21st of December to have an enormous celebration? For example, the emperor Aurelia of Rome declared in the year 274 that these days following December 21st were going to be a festive period commemorating the birthday of the unconquered sun.
It was a natural thing for the early Christians to look at the timing of these cultural celebrations and consider that December 25th would also be an appropriate date to celebrate the greatest single event of all time—the coming of our Savior into this world.
When we celebrate Christmas, we are celebrating the increase of light. “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings” (Malachi 4:2). Jesus came into this world to dispel darkness. From the moment of His birth; things were going to get brighter.
Most of the children who are placed at Tupelo Children’s Mansion have just come through the darkest days of their lives, from the gloomy circumstances of abuse and neglect, staggering under the feelings of hopelessness and despair. I guess you could say that it just couldn’t be any worse for them. But because of caring people like you, we are able to minister hope and healing to these precious children. A new day dawns for them, as the “Sun of righteousness” begins a work of healing in their lives
A generous gift this holiday season—whatever you can afford—will help make it possible for another child to be cared for and to have a place to call home. You will be blessing a child with the special memories of this Holy Season that you so fondly remember.
No doubt there are other children in your life—your own son or daughter, or a grandchild. Will you consider giving a gift this Christmas for an “extra” child? Your year-end investment can be life changing for our children.
We are grateful for your love and support. You are lighting the way for our children as they journey to the hope and healing promised by the gift of the Christ Child.