Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas in Malawi, Christmas in America

Christmas in Malawi, Christmas in America
An Advent Poem for Reverend Headson Makazinga
December 2011

Reverend Makazinga,
Dear brother, precious friend,
You are in Malawi, a village pastor, a church planter
Baptizing the brothers and sisters
Ordaining new gospel workers
Caring for the widows and orphans
Year in and year out, month by month, serving in His name.

And it is almost Christmas
When you will gather again to celebrate
As you write to me:
“We are going to have thanksgiving to God
For the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ
And also to worship and praise him
As He is the one who made it possible
For us to reach to the end of the year.”

You live in a house in Nsanje without electricity
You walk or ride a bike to the other villages
Though you are getting older and weaker
And have been in the hospital just this year.

Yet you are also able to take a bus to Blantyre
To use the Internet to send me an e-mail
To buy Bibles and hymnals or pick up my care package
(I will send you some money for your ministries
And fruit tea and some Christian books soon.)

In your note, you say you want poems, my poems,
For blessing and encouragement.
This is your poem from me, though it doesn’t rhyme.
You write, “Wish you all the best of Christmas day!”
And I wish you the same.

You are in Malawi, where the land is
Drought dry, dirt poor, primitive
With shepherds and farmers eking an existence
Much like the Holy Land in the time of Jesus

I am in America, where it is not like that at all
(At least in my neighbhorhood)
I am in America, where I have a van
And electricity for my own computer
And my Christmas tree lights
And clean water and abundant food

The simple gifts I send will not erase all your peoples’ poverty
But I still say “Wish you all the best of Christmas day!”
Because Christmas is not in the stores but in the stories
The stories of Yesu Khristu (whom I know as Jesus Christ)

He said: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
Because he has anointed me 
To preach good news to the poor.” 
And at his birth the angels sang:
“Peace on earth, good will to men!”

"So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”  When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told."  Luke 2:4-20



More on Pastor Makazinga and Malawi:
"How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7

If you would like to bless Reverend Makazinga's ministry, you can send a cashier's check to: Headson Makazinga, P.O. Box 187, Nsanje, Malawi, Africa

Virginia Knowles

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