I don’t know if it is just a busy year, or the deep-seated cultural malaise that has set in over such political divisiveness and ill will in this country that has sucked some good out of the good cheer of Christmas, but it just doesn’t seem like a normal Christmas around here. How about you? It seems like decorations went up late, and some houses just don’t seem as bright and festive as they usually are this time of year. And then I noticed on the front page of this morning’s paper, a church in Claremont, California that has Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus fenced in separate cages for their nativity as a statement against what they believe is inhumane treatment at the border. Driving by that will put a dark cloud over anyone’s Joy to the World.
And here at my house we are quite late. Not making any statement about that — just busy. I did get a Christmas tree two weekends ago, but so far I have one strand of lights on the bottom row of branches. In fact, yesterday, I asked Marti if she knew anything about the tree that I just noticed in our living room.
Chandler got some outside lights up yesterday, but our porch is still stacked with boxes holding all our interior decorations. It should be beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here by now, but it’s not. Come to think of it we’re way past the “beginning” part. We should be in full swing by now. Holy reindeer! Christmas is a week from Wednesday! It feels like it’s fourth and long on the fifty-yard line. Shall we go for it?
It takes some effort to stay focused on the true meaning of Christmas any year, but once you realize that the true message of Christmas is just what is needed right now, it might not be so hard. Peace on earth and good will toward everyone. Doesn’t that pretty much nail what we’re missing right now? Peace, and good will among such fighting and ill will.
Let’s celebrate the birth of Jesus by handing out what was celebrated at the announcement of His birth. Figure out what you can do to make this tangible. I’m thinking of giving out a live Christmas plant to each of the neighbors I know by name and saying, “We’re celebrating what the angels celebrated when they announced the birth of Christ — ‘Peace on earth and good will toward men.’”
Let me know if you have an idea we can share with everyone. Let’s spread a little peace and good will this year. God knows we all need it!