"Where's Howard?"


“This is amazing!” Howard exclaimed. “Where did you get this? Did you bring this?” he said, turning to me.

Me: “Yes, but I didn’t write it!”

“I want to share this with my friends!” Howard declared, ignoring me. “Can I have this paper?”

Me: “Yes—and you can have my copy too!”

“Howard” was a 94-year-old man in one of our church’s Deacon Huddles. When I passed out papers with Matthew 1:18-25 and Luke 2:1-20 for our huddle to read and discuss, I hardly expected such an ecstatic reaction. For this special December get-together we started with a few festive icebreaker questions, and then we read the two accounts of Jesus' birth from The Message version and used a handful of questions to discuss the passages.

Was this the first time Howard had ever read the Christmas story? I didn’t have a clue then but found out later that he was a new believer, just soaking up God’s truth.

When it was time to go home that night we stepped out into a wonder world of fresh snow that made everything around look new and clean. The snow was heavy, and soon our hosts started worrying about whether Howard made it home. When they called his home phone, there was no answer. They tried calling several times and then drove to his house to look for him.

No, Howard was not home.

He was at his neighbor’s house—he couldn’t wait any longer to share the amazing things God did at the first Christmas!

I pray that God would make us like Howard—so eager to share the love of God that even a snowstorm at night won’t stop us!

As I think about Howard, these things hit me:

  • Don’t assume that just because people are in church, they know the Bible.
  • Pay attention to the seniors at church. They may be the most excited to learn and share!
  • What we did was simple enough for most anyone to do—we just read a biblical account, asked a few open-ended questions, and rather than telling what we had learned, we allowed everyone to make discoveries for themselves.

We’d like to share more ideas that you can use in any small group at Christmastime. Fill out the form below to access “A Christmas Party . . . about Christmas.”

Fran Goodrich
Q Place Blog Editor