This year has been one of profound blessings at Kahdalea and Chosatonga. As Jeffrey, John, and I get more comfortable in our new roles as Directors, we are stretching into new territory and planning for growth in our programs, activities, and facilities. We’ve enjoyed weddings and the births of two new future Kahdaladies among our staff! The presence of our new year round staff, Dom and Hanna Paulter (Program Directors), and Adam Suda (Operations Director), has greatly increased our efficiency and impact in the pre-summer months. We can’t forget the wonderful interns we have on board, Mark Chasuk, Lizzie Jurek, Maggie Adkins, and Leah Terry! These folks have been AMAZING to be around! We love all of you and we’re so grateful for you. We are savoring the steady growth CKC is enjoying and praying for a new year of good health, safety, and growth for our entire CKC camp family.
It is Christmas! This is a special time of feasting and merry-making that provides an anchor in the darkest days of the year. At camp, Christmas in July is quite the spectacle: chocolate chip pancakes, decorated dining halls, readings of “The Cajun Night Before Christmas”, Chistmas carols and live nativity scenes, dance parties, themed activities, hot chocolate, wild collective dreams ;), viewing of Christmas films, etc. All of this is a joy and plenty of good fun for our campers and staff. It is certainly a summer highlight every year!
But how do we hearken back to the basis of the Christmas celebration? What about Jesus? What about his birth? We mustn’t drown out the purpose of Christmas amidst the fun of engaging and entertaining festivities! Festivals exist to celebrate something concrete, specific and meaningful, something in history that changed the way we hope to live our lives now and in the future. We might run the risk of missing the purpose of the feast amidst the glow of Christmas light parades, commercial consumerism, and hyperactivity.
First things first! Christmas exists for the praise of the glory of God who became a child, a helpless, vulnerable child for us. If this is true (and we as Christians must say it is so!), then this is cause for RAUCOUS REJOICING! We are not alone in our misery, our pain, our uncertainty, our weakness. We are children of a God who enters into the risks of our world with us, the pains and joys of the earthly pilgrimage, a God who comes to us and prepares a place ahead of us in Heaven! To borrow a phrase from Mother Teresa, how often have we stopped to recognize the “humility of God” in this season. God could have entered Earth’s atmosphere as a conquering king or an immortal marvel hero, but no. He came as the child of poor, soon-to-be exiled parents in the backwater countryside of first century Palestine. He was born helpless and weak and depended on his parents, human and limited though they were. He allowed himself to present to earth in this way so that we could relate to him, that we could sense his loves and affections as similar to our own, marked by a shared humanity. REJOICE!
What lies ahead is yet to be seen, but what lay behind is certain: God became man and “pitched his tent among us”, as the Apostle John writes. He did this for no other reason except to show his children what LOVE is. He loves us. He wants us to love as he loves. Christmas is a season of entering into God’s humility, and learning to love as he loves, learning to be vulnerable as he makes himself vulnerable! What a gift to have a God like our God, that he is who he is!
Merry Christmas everyone! We are praying for you and your intentions!