‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year’

  • Thursday, December 12, 2013

Rev. John and Ethel Randolph

“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shall call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sin.”

St. Matthew 1:21

Hopefully you have had a wonderful week. I pray your troubles have been few, and you are looking forward to the celebration of the birth of a King. I hope your physical bodies are free from pain, and that your spiritual bodies have been soaring from the wonderment of just being alive. As the songwriter says, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

Christmas away from home

I was alone in Brooklyn, New York for my first Christmas away from home, and I wouldn’t be able to go home for Christmas because I had just begun my new job on Madison Avenue as a clerk for Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, and wouldn’t have time to commute home to South Carolina and be back in time for work.

I always seemed to make friends with older people, and there was an older lady named Della, that I had met some time before who would also be spending her Christmas alone, mainly because her children were grown and gone and she didn’t want to be a bother to them during the holidays. She had invited me to have Christmas dinner with her at one of the many restaurants in the city. I looked forward to it, since my sister and her family that I lived with, had already left for their journey home.

This was supposed to seem like the most wonderful time of the year, but it was feeling like the worse time to me, as my drifted more and more to family and friends back home.

I was always quiet and shy and a “keep to myself” individual. The big city did not excite me, as a matter of fact it was trying to change me: If you wanted to exist in New York, you had to get rid of the quiet and shy ways, and learn how to yell and be a possible threat to some bully. You had to walk fast to keep from being trampled by the crowd, and you had to be sharp as if you were Annie Oakley when you got on the subways. It was always hustle and bustle, and walk, and run, and be ready for anything. How I longed for the slowness of Georgetown and the closeness of family.

I have to admit that I must give New Yorkers credit for their “Christmas attitude”.

While in my loneliness my mind drifted back to the beginning of December’s Advent season. I had just gotten off of the subway and was making my way down the streets of Manhattan. There was Christmas music drafting through the air and coming from many of the stores. Everyone was bundled up with coats, scarves, hats, and boots, but the atmosphere seemed changed somehow, even the hustle and bustle seemed to have some type of calmness, and the people were the most surprising of all.

You usually didn’t get in the way of an oncoming street walker, and like I said, you always had to be prepared to yell at someone who had yelled at, or was going to yell at you. I was approaching a man on the crowded street, and it seemed as if we were going to make a direct hit into each other, as we missed full front and hit shoulders, I was listening for his yell or cuss, when he gave me a big smile, and said it looked like a nor’easter was coming. This meant a storm or gale from the northeast. I was so shocked that I just nodded my head and smiled in return. As I continued in the crowd and still on the defense, there appeared other smiling faces and greetings of “Merry Christmas” or even, “God bless you”.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing or seeing, but I did know New Yorkers were in a rare form for the celebration of the season. They were taking part in the greatest gift giving possible, and that was the giving of themselves to make others happy at this wonderful time of the year.

Della and I had a wonderful dinner together, and you can guess what our conversation was all about. If only Jesus could live big in our hearts every day, we’d be like a New Yorker at Christmas time.

Give love at Christmas and every day, and esteem each man and woman as your brother and sister, and God as your Father, and Jesus as your Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit as your Comforter.

May you have a safe and wonderful holiday time, and remember that Jesus is the reason for the season.

Mt. Zion AME Church

You are invited to the Gospel Choir’s anniversary on Sunday, Dec. 15 at 3:30 p.m. at Mt. Zion AME Church in Bloomingvale. Go to the 2nd red light in Andrews if you’re coming from Georgetown, and take a right turn onto highway 41; take that highway across two bridges, and at the bottom of the second bridge you will come to a service station on the left and also highway 527, take a left onto highway 527 which is also “Thurgood Marshall’s Highway”; travel the highway for about 2 and ½ miles, and the church will be on the right. All soloists, groups, and choirs are invited. Rev. Herman Ford, Jr., is the pastor.

Shiloh AME Church

Don’t forget the dedication service on Sunday at 3 p.m. at Shiloh AME Church 4995 South Fraser St. with special speaker, retired presiding elder of the AME Church, Rev. John Randolph. Rev. Timothy Cooper is the pastor.

The Heavenly Angels

The Heavenly Angels are also celebrating their anniversary on Saturday, Dec. 14, at 6 p.m. at St. Paul AME Church in the Plantersville community. Licentiate Elsa Syndab is the president, and Rev. Rubin Smalls is the pastor.

Prayer

Please remember to pray for the sick and shut in, the bereaved, those in nursing homes and hospitals, our men and women on the battlefield, store managers, the employees, and their customers, and for each other. Remember to take time to rest from all of the hustle and bustle, and give thanks for being able to be at home at such a wonderful time as this. Be blessed above and beyond all that God has to offer you. Love and peace until we meet again

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