By: Elita Fung - Outreach Worker in St. James Town

Click on photos above to see more from our Christmas Photobooth

Never underestimate the power of presence. Yes. Presence. Not "presents". This year, "God With Us" has been the resounding message on my heart. We've been reading through the book of Exodus at our programs and just around Christmas, we got to the part where God gives the Ten Commandments and then asks the Israelites to come up the mountain so that they could be with Him (Exodus 20). After all, God did all the hard work of rescuing them so that He could fellowship with His people. The scene is quite incredible: a smoking mountain, thunder, and lightning, and a people frightened out of their minds by the spectacle. But when the moment comes, they decide to stay at the bottom of Mt. Sinai! They are too afraid of God to come up and be with Him. They'd much rather God spoke to Moses and then Moses spoke to them. They'd much rather talk to a human than God. And this continues throughout the Old Testament. God is scary, too scary for us sinners. Enter the crazy good news of Christmas: God wants to be with us so much, that He became human. He became human, not just for a short-term 33 year mission trip, but for all the rest of eternity, because that is what it'll take to be with us forever. This isn't sentimentality. It's sacrifice. It's the redemption of the whole human experience.

In St. James Town, we have a big dinner with our families. Our prayer is that not only do we get to fellowship with them, and they get to fellowship with one another but that they get to fellowship with the fullness of the triune God, who has cleansed us of our sins so that we may enter His presence, free of fear.