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Fri, Dec 23 2005

What If We Gave a BIrthday Party and Nobody Came?

If all the people fussing over whether to call it holiday-this or Christmas-that were put up against the story of a community's generosity to a road sweeper maybe there would be silence.

And how about the child who noticed someone in need and looked around her and then tried to do her best to make their day better?

Whether you want to call it a holiday tree or a Christmas tree, a group of nice people made sure some families in Paso Robles, California got to have one.

I want to take a minute to recognize all the hard-working folks at post offices who help make sure the letters that children send to Santa get delivered and answered. I know of one local Santa helper who went the extra mile when he learned that one little boy's letter may have been a bit delayed in the busy December rush.

While politicians and preachers and rent-a-mobs rant and rave about what we ought to call it and what we ought to say and do to fall into line with it there are people who quietly go about the task of easing one another's burdens and recognizing the dignity in every human life they encounter all year long. I don't hear them complaining and arguing. They seem to have already figured out what it's all really about.

Christians have the best reason of all to celebrate without condemning others' views. The Christ Child we honor could have begun His human life in a palace with trumpet fanfares and banners hanging all around town. But what we read is that His family placed Him in a manger near animals. While it's possible that we've romanticized the details we can be fairly certain that the level of attention given to the event was miniscule in most circles. Any negative reactions were only on the part of those who feared their own lofty positions would be in jeopardy if Jesus came to rule Israel. Many didn't understand the kind of kingdom He had. Many still don't understand. Those of us who claim to follow Him should know better than to use this season as an excuse to condemn and judge others. If Jesus' kingdom begins in humble hearts then we should look at others' greetings and traditions as their way of reaching out to partake with us in this Great Gift.

I hope each of you enjoys a spirit of giving and acceptance this season.

posted at: 11:53 | category: /Religious and Spiritual | link to this entry

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