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Christmas Eve: shepherd-style

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Shepherd-styleOur city is full of people who have nowhere to go on Christmas. A few end up at our house where we have one rule: you have to participate.

Every Christmas Eve, we hold a “shepherd’s meal.” Young and old alike – no exceptions – dress up as shepherds with dishtowels and pillowcases on heads, and belts or ropes to keep them there. We sit on the floor in the living room, and rip apart bread, cheese, and rotisserie chicken, talking about our sheep, and the hard day for us shepherds.

We must remain in character!

One year, an urban professional from China just couldn’t imagine she was a shepherd. Our children worked so hard to help her see the sheep, the mountainside, the grass, the campfire, and everything that was so clear in their imaginations. When the angels came, and everyone was “sore afraid,” Ernesto, our 65-year-old Guatemalan friend, was so into the story, he fell over backward laughing with the kids.

Remaining in character, we rejoiced because Jesus has come! For most in the room, this was truly news.

—Dennis and Mistin Wilkinson of Meta Communities in the West End of Vancouver

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