It’s almost Christmas, and we are still hearing stories from ICOM in Richmond. It’s really weird when you hear of a story that took place at conference – which, coincidentally, has taken you years to organize and plan! And then comes a story from someone who came to ICOM in a rather unusual way like someone forwarding an email saying “You should come to ICOM with me!” We love hearing stories of things that happened during the conference weekend or how people end up hearing of us and coming to ICOM! We heard a story of people from Pennsylvania who came to ICOM for a specific workshop track. Upon arriving in Richmond, they were shocked at seeing the thousands of people who had driven or flown from across the globe for the sake of world missions. Here’s the thing: they didn’t even know ICOM existed. And just today, I learned of that very story. It always makes me smile whenever someone’s life was touched by the conference.
Many churches have stopped doing Christmas programs these days. My wife, Sherree, and I went to one the other day and it was awesome! There was a children’s choir, a teen choir, an adult choir and an orchestra, too. What really got my attention was the incredible smiles of three little girls in the children’s choir, two young ladies in the teen choir, and a couple of folks in the adult choir. They absolutely owned what they were singing. They had the mechanical part down. In fact, one gentleman had his songbook folded up because he knew the music that well. But the two teenage girls, they were glowing with joy! That made me smile.
The story of the birth of Jesus is an incredible story that changed the world – and is still changing lives today! I am sure God smiled at many points throughout the events leading up to that night in the manger.
- Poor Mary, traveling to Bethlehem from Nazareth…all the while she was about to give birth to a baby. Wow!
- I wonder if Joseph was frustrated with no room in the inn.
- I bet God laughed when the angels filled the sky to watching shepherds. As if to say “Watch this!”
- The look on King Herod’s face when the wise men entered his palace looking for the one “born King of the Jews.”
- The patience and response of Simeon and Anna, waiting for God’s promised Messiah.
Until the day I die, I want to live and serve in a way that brings a smile to the face of God. This Christmas season is a great time to show the love of God. Not just in the manger, but in the flesh. Give God something to smile about.
Merry Christmas from the ICOM Staff!
David, Jim, Keith, Emily & Kelsey