Last week the two-inch blizzard hit Salem. It’s awesome because now I can relate to the tough times of the Donner Party. Everything in the area ceremoniously shut down and so I had a chance to write my Christmas cards. Now I know, Christmas cards are a quaint harkening to yesteryear. Who the heck does Christmas cards anymore? They’re too time intensive, expensive, not very environmentally sound, and everyone keeps up on Facebook anyway.
But there’s something I like about the physical act of the Christmas card ritual. I go through my index cards – many with notes dating back to when I got married 25 years ago. I am filled with warm feelings of remembrance of childhood and college friends from long ago. And sometimes I’m filled with sadness as I think of the people who have died during the year and of those who have gone in years past – because I just can’t bring myself to throw those cards away.
My best friend’s mother, Anne Hendrick, passed away a couple of weeks ago. Mrs. Hendrick was the epitome of generosity and graciousness. When I was a poor United Methodist missionary in Richmond, VA – many moons ago – she opened her arms wide to welcome me in as family. I knew I would always have a place at her table. Lucky me!
I learned a lot from her, but she and Mr. Hendrick had a particular Christmas card tradition that I loved. The Christmas cards they received during the season were not put away after December 25th. Instead, they would be put in a bowl in their home and every day during the year, Mr. and Mrs. Hendrick would pull one card out during their morning devotions and pray for whomever the card was from. There was something oddly comforting, knowing that some time during the year, my card would be selected and that my family and I would be prayed for. Some years, you could just feel the extra boost in your soul.
So, in memory of Mrs. Hendrick, I’m going to follow her lead. The lowly and treasured Christmas cards I receive this season, they will be enjoyed all year long – and there will be prayers said for each sender of the card.
May you feel the “Christmas Card Prayers” said and unsaid that go out to support you during this holy season. Merry Christmas! See you back here in the New Year.
Cesie Delve Scheuermann (pronounced “CC Delv Sherman,” what can I say?) is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. Over the past fifteen years, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she helped raise over three million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. Christmas on a Sunday? She will be sending extra prayers for clergy people to stay awake and alert. She was the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference Lay Leader from 2008-2012. Her position with the Conference is funded through a generous grant from the Collins Foundation. She is available to consult with churches. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/inspiringgenerosity.
If someone has forwarded this to you and you would like to subscribe to "Inspiring Generosity," click here. Miss an issue? Click here.
Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference Center
1505 SW 18th Avenue Portland, Oregon, 97201-2524
503-226-7931 or 1-800-JWesley (800-593-7539)
The Cross and Flame is a registered trademark, and its use is supervised by the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) of The United Methodist Church. Permission to use the Cross and Flame must be obtained from the GCFA.