Stray Thoughts on Christmas…

Happy Christian holidays to me and all the other billions (I think there’s that many) Christians around the globe!  May I/we not belittle other people’s faith or lack of it this Christmas in order to bolster our own. Knowing Jesus is enough.

The Bible says “there is a time for war and a time for peace”. Even though the Senate has passed their version of Health Care reform and I have opinions about it, I promise to keep silent on them  here.  It’s not a time for yelling at or about anybody.  If we’re all going to “sleep in heavenly peace”, no politics today.

How is that John Lennon — notoriously NOT a Christian — has all the best thoughts about Christmas?  “So this is Christmas/Well what have you done/Another year over/And a new one just begun… for black and for white, the yellow and red ones, let’s stop all the fight”

Why do the Brits say “Happy Christmas” and Americans say “Merry Christmas”? Who else says one or the other?

My old organist used to say to the empty church after Christmas service, “We’ll see you on Easter!”, meaning that the Christmas and Easter people would only be back at the next Big Holiday. If you’re one of those people, stick around.  The manger scene only works because there are donkeys there, and stinky shepherds, and kings, and bewildered people having babies. Nothing’s really changed.  Life works so much better and feels so much more fun in community.  Whatever church you go to, find one you like, that really touches you, and stick around for a few months. Being in a place that you like and that gets to your deepest core is a good thing — even better when you do it regularly.

Next year, I’m going to give myself a few days to downshift from 90 miles per hour to zero. “BOOM! Christmas is here!” is not the way to do it.

All my ministry friends, you can stop right after Christmas — at least for a few days. Sleep in heavenly peace.

I love the John McCutcheon song about a soccer game between Germans and Brits on Christmas Eve in the middle of a world war. It’s a true story, I guess.

At least one 8 and one 10 year old still believe in Santa.

My thoughts go out to friends whose loved ones have died.

Christmas without a lot of money is going to be a good thing, I think.

My students at Manchester Community College are really cool and they have great ideas. I’m going through withdrawal from teaching. Grades were just completed last night.

Our church (South Church in New Britain) is really cool and doing a wonderful thing — walking from the church to a homeless shelter for services. I love liberal Christians when we get it right, which we do every once in a while. Nice touch, George. Nice background support, Dave and everybody else.

A lot of my clients have recently developed cancer. May God be with them this holiday.

Apparently, there’s a disco version of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”. My daughter’s dancing to it while it plays in her head.

We won’t be dressing up our dog for Christmas. But she will be getting bones as gifts.

Merry Christmas, and to all a good night…

Peace,

John

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