By Chad Hershberger
This is the first in a series of writings about Christmas characters and their likely camp jobs.
When Jim Vitale asked me to write a few blog posts to be posted around Christmas, I knew I wanted to do something with the characters that we read about this time of year. For our frequent readers of our digital First Light, we looked at some of these people last year. But this time, I pondered what qualities four of those main characters of the Christmas story might have that would make them good camp staff.
I posed the question to my daughter, an avid camper, who will be attending this year’s summer program. I told her four characters I might write about and asked her what camp job would be good for each of them. Interestingly enough, she picked the same jobs I had in mind. So, in the next two weeks, we will look at these potential camp staff as if they are applying and interviewing for summer positions.
A man from Nazareth sent in an application. He’s been a carpenter most of his life. He has a good family support system and he’s faithful to God. In fact, in his application he related a story that God spoke to him through an angel. He surely would have some good insight to teach GROW Times to our campers.
When I interviewed Joseph, he related to me how he felt he was very resourceful. In fact, he never expected to be a midwife, but he helped deliver his wife’s holy child. That’s because the boy was born in a stable in Bethlehem. Oh yes- he and his wife had to travel from their home in Nazareth for a government census. They traveled for days on donkeyback and when they got to town, there was no place for them to stay. So, a generous innkeeper gave them space in a stable. They had to campout there, amidst the animals, and while they were there the child was born.
I checked out his references, and the three people I talked to had good things to say about this applicant. The innkeeper confirmed Joseph’s resourcefulness. A woman from Nazareth told me that he was indeed a good carpenter and was able to fix a table she owned that was broken. The priest at Joseph’s synagogue told me about the strong faith of this applicant and how he is good with the kids at the temple.
As I ponder what job might be good for Joseph, I can see some strength in his abilities in our core value of outdoor adventure. I can sense that he has an appreciation and adoration for our Creator. He seems to be able to adapt to what is going on around him and make the best of every situation. He is guided by his faith and seems to have a strong relationship with God. And he’s not willing to give up, despite his circumstances.
After praying about it, I’ve decided we could use Joseph as our trip leader this summer. He has experience in planning trips and can definitely think on his feet when it comes to situations that come up on that trip. He can be supportive of those traveling with him and is a good ambassador for the camp with people he meets along the way.
And so, I’ll be hiring Joseph as our “Christmas Camp” trip leader. How do you think he’d be leading you on a trip?