Greetings members and readers,
Yes! It is that time of year where we reach back and remember the earlier moments in our lives like crackling fires or Grandma making fudge or some other heavenly delight in a warm kitchen full of light and smiles. We remember that warmth and light, which did not come from a fireplace or a wood burning stove or a candle or an incandescent light bulb, it came from us and the people all around us that seemed to be a bit more focused on the good news of Christmas, where the joy of friends, family, food and God seemed to be everywhere.
As children, we knew that Christmas was a religious holiday and that baby Jesus was born in a town called Bethlehem, some far away place where there were few hotels and some folks like Joseph and Mary had to sleep in a barn, a stable with a place to put animal food called a manger.
While that was going on, fast forward a few centuries, there were many that had their head buried in a Sears Roebuck Catalogue, Mr. Roebuck being a black man incidentally, literally wearing out the pages searching for a particular toy or item that might show up in the mail or be delivered by Santa in days to come. It seemed that sometimes Santa had to use the mail service and we were OK with that..
The excitement was almost painful, anticipating that night at 3:00 in the morning when we would wake up and sneak into the living room to find out if Santa had gotten his letter and if he had acted upon the requests in that letter. No one really knew why Santa lived in the north pole, a very cold place where he lived with a bunch of elves. We spent a lot of time trying to figure out how a fat guy with a bag of toys could get down a very narrow chimney or what we would do if we did not have a chimney.
We left out food for him because we were sure that he would be hungry traveling all over the world in one night and often we would leave hot chocolate or warm milk in hopes that he would warm up during his visit so he could continue his journey a bit more comfortable than he might have been before his visit to our house. We never thought about how that poor man might eat so much food at so many places. We were sure that we were the only people that left out some treats for him.
Suddenly folks in the neighborhood or in a church group began to worry about people in the community that had less material things in their lives, like a source of warmth for their homes or proper clothing for the coming winter months and some that just did not have much food. So lots of people began to fuss about gathering up a few necessaries for those folks so all would be warm, fed and feel loved, at least for the holidays.
The simplicity of this big event was not quite so simple, for all those that worked extra hard to make this day of Jesus’s birth so very special. Choirs sang, churches were open that day with special services, plays were given, parades in big cities were over the top and after the big visit from Santa, we kids were over fed and over stimulated but we managed to spend a part of that day enjoying the gifts of the holiday, gifts that we may have understood were to remind us of the gifts of the three kings to Jesus. I never could figure out how incense and myrrh could compare to a BB gun or a 22 rifle. I never did know until later what myrrh or frankincense was and I really did not care. (Frankincense and Myrrh are aromatic gum resins used to make incense and perfumes to this day)
In my lifetime, things have certainly moved away from what seemed so pleasantly simple. Yes, work, effort and expense went into all that which I remember as so many perfect days and soon, I would know just how much work was performed to effect that perfect day. But things have deteriorated since those wonderful days in our present day society. The gifting is over done and has become all but a seasonal pastime. Our merchandising media has all but obscured the significance of gifting and some go into great debt to participate. We as a nation need to get a grip on all that while we assess priorities.
The scope of our preparations these days are almost debilitating, the gifts are not nearly as personal or home spun. There is a big difference in a hand made quilt made by many over months of work as compared to an electronic gizmo manufactured in China in 2 hours that will become obsolete in a matter of months. The holly and mistletoe are plastic and the trees are store bought and do not have that natural evergreen aroma because they too, are synthetic. Perhaps it is just a sign of our times and a way to meet the need of the population presently. But it’s not nearly as aromatic and not nearly as personal.
We did not question the politics of the people involved in our celebrations nor did we question if Santa Claus did really exist, we did not care if he was black or white or an Eskimo. I thought that he was pink with red cheeks. We did not care if he was gay or Catholic or a jew. We never wondered if Mrs. Claus was really a woman or a lesbian. We did not question Santa’s relationship with Mrs.Claus and we did not ever think that Mrs. Claus was feeling a bit left out by simply caring for Santa so that he might care for us. We knew how important her job was to us. We did not attempt to unravel the fabric that brought us so much mystical joy. We were sure that he and Mrs.Claus did care for one another and the elves and that all of them were happy, well fed and healthy. We never heard the slogan that “Eskimo Elves Matter’, because we knew that they did. We knew that they loved their work. We never heard of an elf getting canceled because of his politics. We never ask if an elf was a democrat or a republican or a conservative or a liberal or cared. And we never cared how much damage was done to the environment caused by the use of radiant reindeer that could fly.
We know that Jesus was a jew, we know that he came to us as a jew, a people that were then and are now, God’s chosen people. Obviously, Jesus was not a religious jew adhering to the Hebrew teachings of this day (because at that time they, the Jews had not denied Christ.) We know that he grew up and matured to his calling, he became the subject matter and the first teacher of Christianity so that we could find a bridge to God through him. That is the singular event that allows and creates Hope and Joy.
Many in this day and time are purely joyless and they are stealing our joy.
We need to understand that God is not a liberal or a conservative, he is not a republican nor a democrat. He is all those things with specific caveats. There is too much worry in our country regarding the way insecure and paranoid people view themselves. They ARE stealing our joy. They need to understand that THEY are responsible for repairing their inability to “Be” that which they are and that they are responsible to become comfortable in their own skin. We can not make them happy or comfortable; it is their trial to come to grips with their own discomfort. We did not make them who they are: homosexual, black or Bi and they need to stop demanding our approval or permission and find that in themselves. Their sloth, their lack of joy, their unpreparedness, addictions, etc. in this country, today, is their mountain to climb. When they begin their climb, they will be shocked with the outpouring of help available. Constitutional law and opportunity abound for any and all that will seize the opportunities of the moment and accept a personal responsibility for who they are and what they can become. Spend more time working and less time making excuses and blaming all others. Please do not steal our joy, help create more for all of us..
There are many gifts of Christmas and among them are:
* The gift of Jesus Christ to humanity who bridges the “chasm” to God so that we might understand God and his plan for us, which includes salvation, everlasting life and JOY.
* The Constitution of these United States which promises us freedom to pursue life, liberty and happiness unfettered by government intrusion or mandate.
* And the enlightenment to get our priorities in order in this life where we begin to realize that our country, under God, the USA, was the first country in the history of the world to offer and protect individual rights that should be treasured and guarded. We are presently one of only a few that practice this type of governing. It also offers us the opportunity to destroy the gift of the constitution that insures those rights. For those of you that want to destroy that which guarantees us those rights, what or who will protect us then and allow us to be that which we want to be in this life?
We better watch out what we wish for! The communists, the socialists, the totalitarian governments throughout the world, especially the Arabs, do not tolerate homosexuality, Christianity, sloth, thievery, adultery, or insurrection. They do not value individuality because it is considered a threat to their regime and their power over us. Hitler killed millions of Jews, homosexuals, Christians and even, naysayers within his own Nazi party. He did not kill them because he did not like them, he killed them because they threatened his power and his sick dream. Why do we think that life will be better after we destroy our Constitution and our Christianity? It won’t be better. The bible and the constitution are the two most important written documents in the history of the world. The loss of them will cause us to live a hell on earth, especially for a people that have known freedom.
Personal responsibility is a big deal in a free country, it is a big deal in getting right with God, and it is a big deal for our growth, welfare and our personal self esteem. It is a integral part of Christianity and Democracy. It allows us to learn how to snuff out our fears of inferiority and flourish joyously without the need to blame others for our shortcomings. Let us not pick apart the quilt of freedom in order to justify our inadequacies, for if we do, we will no longer have the tool of our constitution or the new testament, that protects and warms our potential to know confidence, growth, love, prosperity and joy.
Have a joyous Christmas and let us all strive to know the joy of Christmas throughout the coming year, be thankful for what we have and treasure the right to become that which we can and want to become.