Freshly fallen snow and the smell of warm cookies from the oven, family gatherings, presents, Pine Trees, Christmas music, stockings by the fireplace - each of these are emblems of Christmas, things we all hold dear during the holiday season. But for those living on the streets, this season can trigger painful memories from the past, of times long ago when they felt loved and cherished.
This is why, every December, we do what we can to bring Christmas to the streets. Each year we organize a cookie bake and make hundreds of Christmas cookies to serve at our different outreaches. Our neighbors look forward to the plate of goodies. The homeless always appreciate these home-baked gifts, and the ladies at the massage parlors always feel particularly blessed to receive them. It is the cookies, plus our friendship, that gives these people (whom the world would call “outcasts”), a sense of belonging and importance during the Christmas season.
And yet, even with all the cookies and carols, we would fail to bring Christmas to the streets if we left out the one thing that makes Christmas so special - The story of Jesus, the story of God humbling himself to become a man in order to save us. It is this story that motivates everything we do and remains the central message of our ministry. May the message of Christ bring true peace to the hearts of those we serve this holiday season, the people he came to redeem.