On Christmas eve I am reminded that I haven’t bought any presents for anyone. This is no excuse on my part. My being sick for the past 2 days can’t be an excuse since I usually like buying things in advance. No its just darn laziness plus finding the one present that each recipient will really like and use.
But Christmas was probably not like this all the time. The Bible tells us that Jesus was born into a poor family and under very bad conditions. Except for a donkey, his parents had nothing with them except for some clothes they took with them on a trip. No friends or relatives to share the joy and pain of childbirth. Just strangers – shepherds and wise men. No banquet table! No feast fit for a king. Just a choir of angels singing praises to the heavens, and a humbled parents
Two thousand years later, we remember His birthday by decorating our homes, streets and public places with tinsel. We buy gifts for friends and family. We prepare kingly feasts and invite the people we care about to share our bounty with us.
And for a moment, we wish others peace and good will.
That is the extent to which we remember the spirit with which He came into this world.
We’ve twisted the meaning of Christmas to one that invokes gift-giving and sharing with family. When I was in school we were taught that He came into this world to share peace and love with everyone – friends, family, strangers and enemies. I am sure he had more of the latter two and the former two. Yet today, we share with the former two and ignore the latter two altogether.
We continue to spend billions building weapons that kill in the name of peace. In the name of peace. What an irony! Rather than spend on social welfare, healthcare and improving the lives of the less fortunate, we build bunkers, buy guns, and put up missiles. All in the name of peace and security.
In truth I have no answer to the proverbial question: when will we have true peace? Perhaps at the end of the world. I hope not. It definitely won’t be in my lifetime unless a miracle happens. But I hope it does come eventually if not in my children’s lifetime, in their children’s lifetime.
Enough said. I’d like to leave you all with this little animated card from JibJab. Have fun and Merry Christmas!