We often hear or cite the separation of church and state when it comes to discussing religion or matters of faith , but is it acceptable for people of faith to share hot cocoa, joy, compassion and hope in governmental spaces? Absolutely!

Today, after 7 inches of snow had covered Ebensburg, PA, and with temperatures in the low teens and people determined to remain indoors, we thought, “what would Jesus do?”

We could hear Jesus urging:  Go to the people I say unto you. 

Thus, we entered the courthouse not with religion but the peace, hospitality and love of the One who came among us. Walking through the courthouse and entering offices with serving trays of hot cocoa, our volunteers were met with gratitude and surprise when they said the hot cocoa was free and it’s for you.

One employee, inspired the generosity, escorted us to every known office. She even ushered us to some obscure places within the courthouse to ensure everyone had the opportunity to experience the joy and hot cocoa we were sharing.

A clerk from the Prothonotary Office said, “Don’t forget that for me Christmas means, family, giving and the birth of our savior.”

Renee, a law office administrative assistant, captured the Ebensburg, PA experience with her meaning of Christmas: “The closer I get to Christ (living the Gospel) the more Christmas means to me. Because Christ is the key to unlocking the door to peace, love and harmony.”

Yes, proximity is the invitation of the Gospel and God’s love is without limits or barriers. So “Heedless of the wind and weather”, we decked the courthouse halls and surrounding businesses with joy and cups of hot cocoa served with the Spirit of Love, Peace and Compassion.

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