A Christmas Story
In a Russian orphanage, there were about 100 boys and girls who had been abused and abandoned. Just like the babies of Bethlehem being pursued by Herod, they had experienced the violence of our world. With amazement, they heard the Christmas story for the first time.
After hearing the story, the children were given small pieces of cardboard to make a manger. They tore up a paper serviette for straw and were given a small doll cut out of felt.
In next to no time 6-year-old Misha finished his project, not with one baby but with two babies in the manger. When Misha was asked why he had two babies in the manger he replied by retelling the Christmas story.
But when until he came to the part where Mary put the baby Jesus in the manger Misha made up his own ending to the story. He said:
When Mary laid the baby in the manger, Jesus looked at me and asked me if I had a place to stay. I told him I have no mama and I have no papa, so I don't have any place to stay. Then Jesus told me I could stay with him. But I told him I couldn’t, because I didn’t have a gift to give him like the wise men did.
But I wanted to stay with Jesus so much, so I thought about what I had that I could use for a gift. I thought maybe if I kept him warm, that would be a good gift.
So, I asked Jesus, "If I keep you warm, will that be a good enough gift?" And Jesus told me, "If you keep me warm, that will be the best gift anybody ever gave me."
So, I got into the manger, and then Jesus looked at me and he told me I could stay with him - for always.
As Misha finished his story, his eyes brimmed full of tears that splashed down his little cheeks. Putting his hand over his face, his head dropped to the table and his shoulders shook as he sobbed and sobbed. The little orphan had found someone who would never abandon nor abuse him, someone who would stay with him - for always.
Weekly messages are provided at the services. Copies of these messages are available in .pdf format on request from the office.
The Parish hosts other fixed-duration groups and events throughout the year such as:
- Marriage and Parenting courses,
- Discipleship / confirmation Groups
- Alpha (introduction to Christianity)
- Special focus topics during Lent
- 'Carols by the Beach' singers
- Baptism information sessions
Order of St Luke is an international healing ministry (www.osl.org.au). A local chapter meets at St Thomas’, Howrah once a month and in constant prayer for people in need.
Anyone interested in participating in this ministry may phone the parish office.
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