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Day 10 – Christmas with the neighbours: Malaysia

By Terence Lee

Terence Lee works in Tearfund’s International Partnerships team and is based in Malaysia.


1-minute read

‘Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’ (Nehemiah 8:10)

When you live in Malaysia, there is one thing that will always break down barriers and get people talking … food! It doesn’t matter what age you are, what gender, status or race, at the feasting table, all are equal.

Each Christmas our church would host a carol service and a Christmas market and we’d put on a feast, with grilled sausages next to satay sticks, and mulled cider across from mango lassis. Everyone would come together, from all walks of life, and just eat and chat, and chat and eat some more. Everyone was welcomed, and strangers could walk off the street into the church and they’d be handed a satay stick and a cup and invited to stay.

Looking back, remembering that scene in my mind, it felt like an embodiment of what the Christmas spirit is about. It’s a celebration of God with us, Immanuel. It's a time where all are welcomed, from lowly shepherds to kings and wise men. A time for rejoicing, for feasting and for joy.

We Christians are meant to carry the joy of the Lord in our lives, and what better reason to celebrate and feast than Christmas?

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