Tag Archives: Operation Christmas Stocking

Wednesday: Words of Wisdom from Chaplain Jim

3 Oct

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Normally, I have profound words of my own to share on Wednedsay, but today, I’d like to share a recent post from my friend, Chaplain (Major) James R. Lewis. I met Chaplain Jim at DFW shortly before his deployment to Kuwait this summer. We have been corresponding ever since, and his letters are always moving. He is already thinking about his flock and the Christmas season. Perhaps you might be moved by his words and share with a soldier this holiday . *****************UNCLASSIFIED//NONE

Operation Christmas Stocking
It’s probably safe to say that one of the most beloved Christmas song outside of the churchy-type Christmas carols, is the Irving Berlin song made a favorite by Bing Crosby’s numerous renditions of “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.” When it first came out, it wasn’t thought of as being that special, but in the months leading up to Christmas of 1942 when we first had numerous Service Members overseas for Christmas in WW II, it quickly became a favorite. According to Wikipedia at least, it was in October of 1942 that the song first got big. And though it’s barely October this year, already for myself, “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas.”

Several years ago when I was last deployed, with a LOT of help from churches, veterans organizations, scout groups and more, folks back home provided Christmas Stockings for all the Soldiers in my Brigade and its downtrace units who were not able to go home for Christmas; Soldiers who, like myself, were also dreaming of a white Christmas– but it didn’t happen in Iraq! I’m in Kuwait this year for Christmas– and no snow is in the forecast here either. Not that it’s really the snow that makes Christmas what it is, but it’s a good excuse to ask for help again!

As with before, I’d like to be able to provide Christmas stockings for all the Soldiers and others form whom our Brigade is responsible. I expect other Chaplains will be helping this time, and we have a smaller footprint in the sand these days, so we won’t be needing as many as last time, but we will need help from back home to make this happen. If you personally, or a group, a church, a Veterans organization, a scout group you are associated with might be interested in helping with this project, please let me know. I’m putting together a list of those specifically interested in helping with this project so I can send a list out to you with the details of what TO get, what NOT to get for these stockings. Drop a quick note to me in the next few days at james.r.lewis1.mil@mail.mil if you or a group you are associated with would like to help.

And how does this fit with Family Discipleship? Well, it doesn’t take much to realize that the way we celebrate Christmas, our Little Ones could very quickly and easily draw the mistaken conclusion that Christmas is something like a celebration of THEIR birthday, just in a bigger way, so it’s all about THEM! I HOPE that’s not the message we want to get across to our kids! How, then, do we get the message across that Christmas is JESUS’ birthday, not theirs? And how do you give a birthday present to Jesus?

Have your family read Matthew 25– the whole thing if they can handle it, but at least starting at verse 31 with the parable of the sheep and the goats. Use that as a way to start talking to them about how to give Jesus a birthday present– and then figure out how to do that as a family this year (and EVERY year!). Christmas stockings for Soldiers far from home might be able to resonate with young children, so it can be an ideal tool to use, so I invite you to join the party.

Happy birthday Jesus!
Rev. Jim

Chaplain (Major) James R. Lewis
371st Sustainment Brigade
Brigade Chaplain
DSN: (318) 430-4106
NIPR: james.r.lewis1.mil@mail.mil
SIPR: james.r.lewis1@swa.army.smil.mil
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