Merry Christmas from NCFCA!

Dear NCFCA Families,

 I love receiving Christmas cards and letters, reading the updates on lives that have touched our family. They often bring good news - a birth, graduation, or wedding; sometimes sad news of loss – jobs, health, loved ones, and occasionally a message that you really needed to hear. Such was the case when I received the Christmas letter from the Vice-Chairman of our Board of Directors, John Blom. With his permission, I’ve shared it with you in hopes that it may be a message you need to hear this season, too – a reminder of the promise that our Hope, delivered long ago in the form of a tiny baby, is secure. 

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Kim Cromer

Executive Director, NCFCA (682) 802-2727

John Blom — Vice-Chairman, Board of Directors

This Christmas season, many feelings will be expressed of heartfelt gratitude for friends and family, provision and providence, wellness and well-being.  Warm feelings of gratitude are easy and without distinction when abundance fills every corner in the vault of one’s heart.
All can know appreciation when the space under the tree is filled and the seats around the table all filled.  

Yet, what is the basis for thankfulness when all is not sufficient?  Do we fake it? Do we rationalize the sufficiency of the insufficient based upon a relative scale with others?

I read of Jesus’ thankfulness for five loaves and two fishes.  Was he really thankful for what was clearly insufficient?  Jesus thanked God for a meal to feed one or maybe two, which left 4,998 (plus families).  Jesus was thankful when all the whole was missing.

This year, many will have a portion while the whole will be missing.
At the Blom’s table, a chair will be empty and the family missing a father and husband.
At the Traw’s table, a chair will be empty and the family missing a mother and wife.
At the Jasper’s table, a chair will be empty and the family missing an a uncle.
At the Mulder’s table, a chair will be empty and the family missing a cousin.
At Steve’s table, Bonnie’s chair is filled, yet the grief of cancer’s curse colors all feelings of merriment.
Our tables are divided.
Family members isolated in smaller groups amongst various homes.  
Our tables are not whole. 
We have only portions.  
 How are we to be truly thankful in a year such as this?
How can we practice gratitude without platitudes?
Jesus was thankful for what seemed insufficient for the need.  He was not thankful for a couple fish and several loaves.  He was thankful for a God that was sufficient for all needs regardless of the portions.  This year the portions are not sufficient for many.  This year most are not celebrating with the whole.

Gratitude in the whole is not an act of righteousness.  Anyone can be thankful in abundance.  This year we have an opportunity to practice the thankfulness of Jesus.  We can be truly thankful, because God can either make the insufficient sufficient or He can make us content under the wing of our sovereign, all-sufficient, Savior.  
Thankfulness is an act of Faith.  Our thankfulness should not rest upon the visible but on the invisible and what is to come.  Our thankfulness should reside upon the truth that there will be a day when all are together, and the table is full, with our Lord at its head.

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