Being a visible and active presence of Christ in our community


Christmas, a time of joy, wonder, love, and happiness, is drawing near. But, to be honest this year I just did not seem to have the Christmas spirit. I think the reason I was having difficulty is because I was feeling old this year. To be honest, I have been old for a couple of years. Maybe other people my age go through this same phase. I don’t know. I feel I am at a stage in my life that seems to require some adjustment on my part that I haven’t quite made.

Last Saturday I had an experience that changed whatever it was I had been feeling. I stopped by the church where they were hosting a breakfast with Santa to take a few photos for the church. Only a few of the photos were any good. One was this photo of a young family sitting with Santa Claus. I was able to capture this image as they posed for someone taking their photo. As I looked at this photo I could see in the faces of this family every memory and sentiment of Christmas I was feeling void of. I could see love and happiness in the face of the parents, the children and Santa. I could see the wonder and joy in the little girl as she looked up at Santa and the little girl who sat on Santa’s lap.

When I looked at this photo I felt the spirit of Christmas. It was real. It was visible. And, it was special. It was as if the love, joy and happiness of this family and Santa Claus was handed from them to me.

I found out that this was the Underwood family – Rob, Davina, Addison, and Chelsea. I got their permission to use this photo on the Tomoka UMC website.

We all touch each other’s lives in ways we never realize nor anticipate. It makes no difference if we are lifelong friends or complete strangers. Goodness sparks goodness. In my heart I believe that the Christ in them spoke to the Christ in me. Thanks and Merry Christmas to the Underwood family. Thanks be to God.

Merry Christmas!


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