Christmas Blessings from President/CEO Rev. Nancy S. Hull
I love to watch Christmas movies. “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Miracle on 34th Street” are two of my favorites. Now Hallmark channel has a continuous stream of new movies for the holidays. They all show us some lost soul who does not believe and then there is a love interest who after a few arguments or break ups returns to bring forever after love, and suddenly there is an epiphany about believing at Christmas. Usually in between there is a cup or two of hot chocolate, some snowflakes, maybe a reindeer, and often a child longing for a parent. Unlike the real world, there is always a happy ending. I love happy endings.
This is my last Christmas season at Flat Rock Homes. It is my last time to introduce the Christmas pageant where our individuals play the characters of the nativity. It is my last time to see the surprise and delight in their faces because Santa once again surprised them and arrived at the Kiwanis party. It is my last time to watch the extreme generosity of the donor who brings everyone new athletic shoes and every electronic gadget they could dream of. I can’t wait for the Christmas parties because they all have happy endings.
Much of the work that we do is more like the first Christmas eve. Shepherding young families who are in distress. Finding room in an already full home for other children whose mother and fathers are desperate. Mucking around in the mud and the grime of funding systems and regulations.
Most of the time we are welcoming the stranger into our midst. Finding a space for them to find new life. Preparing a haven for them from the perils of the world. Bringing peace to the families, mothers, fathers, siblings, grandmas and grandpas who are hoping that some light will shine into their darkness.
On that Christmas eve so long ago, the light of God shone onto the world, and brought a hope that goes beyond human longing. Jesus Christ brought the hope of salvation, and called us to spread that hope, and His Peace, throughout the days of the year in-between Christmases.
And that is what we do at Flat Rock. We bring hope to the hopeless. We bring grace to the dying. We bring peace to the scared and frightened and anxious. We bring new life to those who have been forsaken. And ultimately we do that because of the birth of Jesus Christ, our Saviour. It is that Christ who calls us into ministry in this place and demands we bring our very best to those of his people who are seeking.
We can do that because of all of you who support us and make certain that our needs are met so that the needs of those we serve are met. And the response to your giving are the smiles at Christmas parties, when children with intellectual and developmental disabilities once again know the joy of your presence (presents.) The result is hope, everlasting hope.
And that, my friends, is a true happy ending.
Peace, Rev. Nancy S. Hull