By Maree Sytsma, National Alumni Board
As the days grow shorter and the peaks dazzle against the sky, that most sacred time of year draws nigh, and thoughts turn to “on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14).
It is now, as the year ebbs away, that my thoughts turn to 20 years of Christmas at the A/U Ranches. There are no words adequate to describe the pure sense of wonder – the almost tangible sense of holiness that saturates the atmosphere. There is the air, crisp and still; the snow crunching beneath one’s boots; the sound of a coyote chorus echoing off the hillside; the jingle of bells on harnesses; children shrieking with laughter; a fire crackling in the grate… and there is that warmth of family and friends coming together and welcoming the stranger into their midst. The lodge is lit with a million little white lights. There is a tree hunt, ginger bread houses, caroling and quiet times for study and prayer. Lots of outdoor activity. Joy. Peace. Love.
Mary Baker Eddy said in her message, “What Christmas Means to Me,” published in The Ladies’ Home Journal and found in The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany (pp. 261-263), “I love to observe Christmas in quietude, humility, benevolence, charity, letting good will towards man, eloquent silence, prayer, and praise express my conception of Truth’s appearing.”
I have always considered that statement to describe the way Christmas at the A/U Ranches feels to me: a pure sense of the Christ entering in.
There’s still room. Come home for Christmas. Click here to register as a guest or volunteer staff for Christmas Camp.