Tis the Season to be jolly! Ho Ho Ho The evening news will kill your joy, won’t it? A 17-year-old girl was run down, and killed by a woman who did not obey the flashing lights on the school bus that means STOP! A 7 year old girl, taken from the play yard in her own apartment complex, beaten, raped, murdered and her little body thrown into a dumpster. Two young people, from one of our local high schools, were killed, one in a traffic accident and another drowned. A dear friend was killed in a motorcycle accident by a woman who immediately jumped out of her car claiming innocence, all before bothering to call 911, while her victim lay bleeding and dying. My cousins were in the theatre where gunshots rang out last night with people being shot, the whole world seems at odds and within our own borders there seems to be a war waged against men who are supposed to be our protectors and have sometimes proved to be foolish and abusive themselves, whew, how much more do I have to say? Why have I begun this article with these horrible stories? Because they have assaulted me for the past few days and it seems to me that the families in these stories will not be having a HO HO Holiday after all.
What is Christmas all about anyway? My house is filled with decorations, and I love it. I sit and look at them blinking and changing colors after everyone else has gone to bed and somehow it brings back actual feelings of a younger, happier time. A time that I can bring to life by getting out old home movies where I watch a 40 year younger me opening Christmas gifts for my baby girl, relatives that have gone on are there smiling and waving for the camera as if to say “Remember me this way, always”. In these movies my dad is tall and strong and my mother knows her children’s names and which one was first-born, the church was a happy place to be with Christmas programs and banquets being planned. Is that what Christmas is about?
To a certain extent I will say it is what we have made it mean, but in reality, it should be the time that we simply celebrate that Jesus gave up His royal digs to be born in a barn, attended by sheep, goats, cows, and some shepherds who were tending their sheep in a nearby field, being led to the manger by the star that shone over the place where Jesus lay. The angels, who said: “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.” At once the angel was joined by a huge, angelic choir singing God’s praises: Glory to God in the heavenly heights, and on earth Peace and good will toward men and women everywhere!”
In my youth, the church handed out “pokes” that were filled with an apple, orange, and some hard candies, from the Brach candy company, we thought that was a great treat! Turning 14 I got a red “bulky knit” sweater for my Christmas/birthday gift, it was beautiful, I was happy with it, I didn’t expect anything else! Our children now expect, and if we can afford it, get, electronics and expensive brand name jeans and shoes and look to see what else is under the tree!
I wish we could take a step back, remember the Jesus of Christmas and let Him bring us back to the peace and good will that was His original gift to us.
John 1:9-13 John was not himself the Light; he was there to show the way to the Light. The Life-Light was the real thing: Every person entering Life he brings into Light. He was in the world, the world was there through him, and yet the world didn’t even notice. He came to his own people, but they didn’t want him. But whoever did want him, who believed he was who he claimed and would do what he said, He made to be their true selves, their child-of-God selves.
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
I wish to hear no more bad news today, and I wish you a very Merry Christmas, feel the love.