Spirit of Christmas is life-changing love of Christ


I love watching old Christmas movies. You know, the classics like “It’s a wonderful Life.” I can always count on it touching my heart and giving me an excuse for a good cry.


I love the scene when the community comes together to care for George Bailey. George had been a blessing to many. He had given up his personal dreams and aspirations to care for his family and community. When life circumstances became what George thought was unbearable he was ready to give up on his life. He thought he was alone in his difficult journey. He was wrong, so wrong.


In the movie his guardian angel Clarence shows him a very different story. The impact of George’s life is revealed as Clarence reveals what a different community Bedford Falls would have been without him. In the end George is surrounded by those whose lives he had enriched and they care for him as he cared for them so

many years.


I always watch some version of “A Christmas Carol.” For some reason which I can’t explain, maybe it is just nostalgia, I prefer to watch the older version. Charles Dickens, in this wonderful classic, captures the spirit of the holiday season. The creative genius of Dickens shows us how life changing caring about others can be. In “A Christmas Carol” he depicts Tiny Tim, a small child full of courage and hope, but a child dependent on others for help. Dickens shows how the heart of Scrooge was transformed by the courage and love of a young boy. Dickens also demonstrates how Scrooge’s whole life was changed when he reached out to give

of himself.


These classics depict lives that were changed, transformed. I love

that word transformed, for we are transformed in and through the love of Christ. Not only were the lives of Tiny Tim and his family changed/transformed, so was Scrooge transformed/changed. He would never see life the same again. Not only were the lives of those touched by George Baily transformed/changed, he was

transformed/changed and he too would never see life the same again. They were both blessed by being a blessing.


Thank you for being a blessing in the lives of those we serve. Thank you for being a faithful steward of all that God has blessed you with. May you feel the joy, hope and peace depicted in these classics of being blessed by being a blessing.


Since Baptist Children’s Homes of North Carolina opened in 1885, many Tiny Tim’s (boys and girls), families, and people in need like those who lived in Bedford Falls have walked through our doors as the “least of these,” needing hope. Let’s look at some of the children of Christmas past.


We are reminded of Mary Presson from Hertford County in need of refuge, a home. John Mills met her with open arms. I can just imagine that day as he held her and let her know that she was not alone, that she was loved and that she was indeed a precious child of God.


As we continue our journey through times past, we see thousands of children who have found refuge at Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH). We remember children that were orphaned by war, sickness, poverty, and other circumstances that rendered families unable to care for them. We remember children like Agnes whose father died in the war. Her mother was sick. There was no one to care for her and her brothers and sisters. We remember Mamie who feared for her life. She was a precious child that had been a victim of physical and sexual abuse. She was only four years of age when the abuse was reported. We remember Jeffrey whose mother was dying with cancer and could not care for him. We remember Jennifer and Jacob whose family was reunited. We remember Tina who at 15 discovered she was pregnant and the

joy on her face as she learned how to be a good “mom” at Care House. Through BCH, each of these children and families experienced the promise of peace, hope, and love which the

Christmas season so strongly reminds us.


As we continue to look back on our past like George Baily and the people of Bedford Falls, we are also reminded of tough economic times for BCH. They were not always sure they would be able to keep the doors open. Critical decisions had to be made. The needs of the children of North Carolina had to be met. Once again being

blessed turned into blessing and blessing turned into being blessed.


Let’s take a look at Christmas present. Dr. Michael C. Blackwell, BCH president/CEO and the Board of Trustees continue to struggle

with difficult decisions as they strive to care for the children. They have taken a courageous stand for children as they expand our ministry to include a strong continuum of care including foster care and adoption. They asked you to continue to join with us in our struggle to meet the needs of those in crisis today. And, you have answered with a resounding YES!


Thanks to so many people who give their financial support, their time, talents, and most importantly, their prayers. Because of you,

children and families of Christmas present will know the joy and warmth of this season today and throughout the year.


What will happen to the children and families of Christmas future? Many more Tiny Tims and families in crisis, like those living in

Bedford Falls, will come to us in need of help. We know the needs will continue to grow and change. Approximately 16,000 children in North Carolina are removed from their homes each year in need of refuge—a home. Like the past and the present, as we move into the future, we are confident that the church will continue to be the answer. In the midst of a pandemic “on mission together,” we have not only survived, we have thrived. We “on mission together” touched 195,000 lives as we sought to bring hope, peace, and joy to the “least of these.”


Dickens reminds us that the spirit of Christmas is the life-changing love of Christ which we share each and every day. Thank you so much for your “make a difference” gifts of love in the past, in the present, and in the future.


May we each experience the joy of blessing others, and by blessing others, know we are even more blessed. From our “homes” to yours, Merry Christmas!


Through January 31st, 2022, any gift you give is DOUBLED up to $250,000! Click here to give a gift today that will change the life of a NC child!


Written by Brenda Gray, Executive Vice President, Development & Communications

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