Saturday, December 31, 2011
Christmas is a Season!
"It's the most wonderful time of the year." It is truly amazing, to watch people who are not particularly religious, embrace the holiday with abandon, with true religious zeal. Sure we have ways of disguising the religious content of the holiday. We can focus on Santa Clause, elves and reindeer, gifts and mistletoe, and "naughty and nice" lists. Sadly, I some times hear Christians bemoaning the materialism, and commercialization of the holiday, and trumpeting, "Jesus is the reason for the season." OK, point granted. But it is my opinion that such pontificating does not speak half as loudly as actions. The fact is, that Jesus started it all, himself being the most extravagant gift ever given, The eternal Word, made flesh. "God of God, light of light, very God of very God," embraced humanity in such lavish love as to take humanity into himself. You see, He set the precedent of extravagant generosity. He demonstrated through this act, and his ministry on earth, that the visible, material, tangible world really does matter, and that physical persons, and things can be vehicles of spiritual grace. So when I see people in the lines at department stores, racking up bills on their credit cards, spending beyond their means, part of me has to cheer. Jesus Won! He has so impacted the world with his grace, that one time of year, even those who have little or no faith in him at all, are compelled to look beyond themselves, to show their love through giving. It is grace indeed, that allows the world in all of its brokenness and blindness, one season each year, to experience first hand Christian love.
If you happen to be one of the "bemoan-ers," please lighten up. Don't let all that is wrong in the world blind you to the really good things all around you. Go ahead and celebrate the greatest gift the world has even known.
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
I heard the bells on Christmas day, their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat of peace on earth, good will to men.
I thought how as the day had come, the belfries of all Christendom
had roll'd along th'unbroken song of peace on earth, good will to men.
And in despair I bow'd my head. "There is no peace on earth," I said,
"Foe hate is strong, and mocks the song of peace on earth good will to men."
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: "God is not dead nor doth he sleep
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, with peace on earth good will to men."
Till ringing, singing, on its way, the world revolv'd from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime, of peace on earth good will to men!
---Henry W. Longfellow
Posted by Fr. Bob Lemmon at 2:53 PM