A Second Chance at Christmas, and Christmas at Second Chance

Not long after the kids got to plow through their pile of gifts, I was hauling them out the door to church, where we were to help serve at Second Chance Mission's annual Christmas breakfast for the homeless and hungry. The experience was flush with teaching moments:

* It was good to break up the steady stream of getting and then playing with new toys with something that was a little more outward focused.

* Jada didn't recognize any of the men lined up outside as we approached the church. It expanded her mind a little to see that they are welcome, too.

* There were only two other kids there and the place was pretty crowded, so it wasn't looking like the kids were going to have much fun. But I found a young couple handing out plates at the front of the line and stationed Aaron and Jada with them, and soon enough, they were in the mix, helping distribute utensils and napkins.

* The breakfast included many worship elements, to the point that it was less a breakfast with stuff going on up front as it was a service that happened to be serving food. I was asked to give a word and chose Isaiah 61, closing the chapter simply by saying, "I'm no theologian, but from reading that I can tell you that God is a God of second chances." One man came up to me and gravely told me that, though he wasn't religious, that word really touched him.

Soon enough, the kids and I were off and heading home. I think they had fun, but more importantly, I think they got to see a more well-rounded picture of our church, of what it means to serve, and of what Christmas is all about.

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