The past few days have been taken up with moving from my room at the guesthouse to a new small apartment. It’s a bit further removed from where I prefer to be, but it is a much better living situation and will cost less. Because of my concentration on the move, I was unaware that it was Christmas eve day. What finally clued me in? I bought a loaf of bread from my usual small neighborhood grocer. Like all the neighborhood grocers, it’s a small hole in the wall. A young husband and wife run the shop, which is 3 walls and about the size of your bedroom. As I paid for the bread, the wife, a Hindu, smiled brightly and wished me “Merry Christmas.” Her smile and goodwill warmed my heart.
Next stop was the bank, and as I walked on, I thought how nice it is to be in a country where wishing someone Merry Christmas isn’t considered politically incorrect. I grew up in a country like that, but alas, it is no more.
Many of you will be celebrating Christmas tomorrow, Dec. 25 on the civil calendar. May God bless you and your Christmas Feast. Using the Church calendar (or Old Style as some prefer) I will be celebrating the Feast of St. Herman (Deacon Silouan likes to wish people of the Old Calendar a “Happy Hermanmas” on that day). Then on Friday, the 27th, God willing I will fly to the States to spend about 6 weeks with my family and to worship with the community of St. John Maximovitch in Kennewick, WA.
God bless you and your families now and in the New Year. I thank you all for your prayers and support in the beginning of the new and small mission work in Nepal. – Fr. S.