A string of colored Christmas lights hung from the ceiling of my living room in a circle around the light ficture. Another string outlined the window overlooking the courtyard, and still yet more adorned the 4′ fake tree. The biggest wreath you would ever expect to see inside a house (because it looks like it should really be on the side of a barn or on the front of a church) hung on one wall, and that too was lit up with festive color. Other walls were decorated with pieces of garland to display a heart and a smiley face. After running out of wall space, my friends started to decorate each other with garland and Christmas tree ornaments!

Though we had tried to give helpful directions for putting up the decorations, our Asian friends seemed to have their own ideas for how the apartment should be decorated. When we were finished, it really didn’t look very much like Christmas; it looked more like a birthday party, but that’s what we’re celebrating, right?

Everyone sat in a circle on small stools under the Christmas lights, munching on freshly made peanut butter cookies. With the house lights turned off, we enjoyed the festive atmosphere provided by colorful Christmas lights. The moment had arrived to tell the story of the first Christmas! Every eye in the room focused on me, as I asked, “Where shall I start?”

“In the beginning,” came the reply.

Starting in Genesis, I worked my way to the night Jesus was born when the angels appeared to the shepherds on the hillside and later when the magi from the country in the east (could it have been this country??) followed the star to bring gifts for the new King. God’s heart full of love for people and His desire to make a way for us to be close to Him was evident for all to see.

These are amazing opportunities we have to share our Savior’s love! Can you believe that most of my friends present at my apartment that night heard the Christmas story for the first time? Like the star in the sky, we too can point the way for other people to come see the King!