A Celebration of Christmas

“O Holy Night, the stars are brightly shining, it is the night of our dear Savior’s birth”

These words rang clearly through the lodge this morning as we, the students of Summit Semester 2020 raised our voices in song. Today, was the day that was long-awaited by many. It was the day that we as a family celebrated Advent.

That season reminds many of the periods in which we expectantly await and celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Today we joined in that season of celebrating by attending class to learn more about the Christmas story, we went into the woods and cut down a Christmas tree, decorated the Lodge, sang Christmas songs, and of course, sat by the fire and munched Christmas cookies.

As I sit in the sleigh by the Christmas tree in the Lodge with my cup of hot cocoa, reflecting over the events of today, my eyes linger over the ornaments that we lovingly placed on the branches. The tree is well decorated, but what my eyes are drawn to the most are the wooden ornaments that are on the tree.

Many of the ornaments are painted by past students from years gone by, but also by current students from this year. The wooden ornaments are all different, they vary anywhere from inside jokes, to inspirational thoughts to wonderful artistic, winter-themed scenes. Each ornament represents a piece of the heart of the individual who crafted them.

A heart that is vulnerable, a heart that is bold. A heart that loves. The heart that Jesus came to earth for. The heart that He was crucified on the cross for and shed His blood for. The heart that He rose from the dead for. The heart that He loves and cherishes.

Today, we remembered why Jesus was born and the wonder that comes with that. A new sense of wonder, I pray was awoken in the hearts of all. Many memories were created today, as the lodge was filled with all the scents and sounds that embody the spirit of Christmas.

The laughter of friends once strangers but now who are family, flowed as we gathered around the tree putting on ornaments.

The crackling of the fire and the smell of gingerbread cookies wafting from the kitchen filled the Lodge creating a warm and homey feeling.

The wonderful bursts of Christmas songs and the family photos that take place in front of the tree added to the spirit of joy that we felt. There was a spirit of happiness and comradery known as the spirit of Christmas.

Today was not just any day of the year. It was the day that the stars were brightly shining as we laughed and shared in the celebration of our dear Savior’s birth.

By Olesya Keating: Meet Olesya. She is from Wisconsin. She has a twin sister and two brothers. Olesya loves to read, take walks, drink tea, and spend time with her friends. Before coming to Summit Semester, Olesya worked in the activity department of an Assisted Living. Her favorite part was bringing a smile to their faces. Olesya has a passion for overseas missions and especially has a heart for the Russian people. Olesya had the opportunity to go to Russia two years ago on a community development trip. It was one of the best trips she has ever taken. She hopes to go back one day. Olesya is very excited to be at Summit Semester and learn more about God’s heart.