A few years ago a man had a dream, a vision to make the lives of those men and women who had been incarcerated a little more human, a little kinder and more forgiving. A moment in time where they could suspend life as they knew it and be reunited with their families, to be able to sit with them, hold their loved ones, hug and kiss them and tell them they love them face to face, without being behind glass, or in a space under the watchful eye of a guard.
A moment where they could be reminded of the grace of the Divine, the grace of God, where gratitude rains down favor for all those in its wake and so was born 50 Christmases.
A man named Jon Ponder, who had once in his life, a long, long time ago had the experience of knowing what it was like to be in prison, saw a light, a vision from God. It came to him with such an epiphany that he forever hence burned bright with the light of this vision. Just like the wondrous star that lit up the sky, on the night the baby Jesus was born.
As part of this illustrious dream he recognized the importance of reconciliation and integration between 2 seemingly opposing sides, opposing forces that when they came together, created a unity and wholeness far greater than the sum of its parts.
That is the miracle of the Creator. The ability to bring together irreconcilable differences and make them one in a seamless invincible constant that has no beginning nor end. An indomitable force that can overcome and heal all things so that nothing is ever insurmountable and all that remains is the greatest gift of all…Love.
50 Christmases was born from love, conceived in love and abounds with love.
It is a precious moment where people from all walks of life get to share in this beautiful juxtaposition of sharing and goodwill and the joy that comes from the Creator’s abounding compassion and grace. 50 families come together to reunite under one roof and each family has their own individual Christmas tree with presents for their family and their own sofa to sit together and cuddle up as if they were in their own living room at home.
It is incredibly moving to witness men and women who had not seen their family members for 5 years or 10 years have that initial contact where they are met with open arms and held in an embrace like the prodigal son being welcomed back into the family fold. It is absolutely priceless.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” – 1 Corinthians 13: 4 – 8
Christmas is a time of remembering and rejoicing the one who came from humble beginnings and became the true son of God with a pure and virtuous heart that became the light and hope for millions of people that came after him.
50 Christmases uplifts the spirit and brings “Hope” to all the people that it touches. It plants the seeds of a new beginning and a brighter future.
Where could you add some Hope in the lives of others? Go out and sprinkle seeds of Hope with everyone you come into contact this Holiday Season.
Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!