Which seems appropriate - celebrating Christ's birth, with the body of Christ.
But it can throw a wrench in the typical Christmas traditions for many families.
Thankfully, the Hope Family started an awesome tradition last year.
Serving breakfast to the men of Oakland.
Some homeless, some in recovery.
All needing the grace of God.
Just like the rest of us.
5:30am on Christmas Morning about eleven of us met at the "church parking lot"
(and by church, I mean school that we meet in - but on Sunday, it's a church)
grabbed a quick coffee at 7-11
(we may have a serious Starbucks obsession as a body, but coffee is coffee, and 7-11 is open)
And were Oakland bound.
Two more joined us on the road.
And by 6:15 we were at CTO doling out assignments.
My one goal was to not cook the bacon.
I love bacon, I mean, who doesn't? But I did not really want to smell like bacon on Christmas.
Last year, I cooked bacon street side Christmas morning, and for some reason my dog never left my side the rest of the day...weird.
I'll let you guess where I ended up.
Cause smelling like bacon is really not that big of a deal when you think about the grace of just having the opportunity to serve people in the name of Jesus.
Standing next to friends who are like family while you are doing it, is just icing on the cake.
Even Cindy & Ellen's mama Martha joined us. She cooked some mean scrambled eggs.
(Or pre-birds, or future birds, as I like to call them.)
After the bacon finally browned up, I got to head out of the kitchen and into the dining room, where a few of the girls were serving the men their breakfast.
Smiles and Merry Christmases abounded from both sides of the food trays.
The Snausage Sammy was invented. A sausage patty between two hashbrown patties. And was a total hit. It may not be healthy, but most definitely delicious if I do say so myself.
I don't have a big profound statement to wrap up this post with.
And I don't like over-spiritualizing something simple, but I do not want to forget this:
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
(1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV)
The whatever part is crucial.
For His Glory.
For me, sometimes I prefer doing things than being around people.
I am task oriented, if you will.
Which is okay. And it glorifies God.
But when the opportunity to serve people comes, and we just DO IT, without stopping to analyze, think, ponder IF we should (or how we can get out of it), the blessings that follow are usually simple, yet incredible.
There is a JOY in just being WITH the Hope Family, and also with a group of men we may never see again, at least in this life time.
There is JOY in slapping two sausages on an ugly brown tray, but making eye contact with someone, a child of God, and wishing them a Merry Christmas - or being wished a Merry Christmas before even getting the chance.
There is JOY sharing the celebration of CHRISTMAS, Christ's Birth with a room full of people - familiar and strangers - of knowing that the almighty God has taken on the form of a humble INFANT in a dirty stable, and everyone is stopping to remember that today.
THAT is the JOY that was exploding from my heart early on Christmas morning.