Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve 2012: The madness is still here. School Children and Firefighters have been slain by men with guns in the United States. In Pakistan women valiantly trying to inoculate children against the scourge of polio are killed by ignorant and stupid men. The stories about reduced ice in both poles, and how that fits into every rational explanation about climate change is still ignored by those that have been granted power to do something about it. So nothing has changed: The Romans who occupied and brutalized Palestine two thousand years ago would fit in perfectly into today’s world. But why do I feel so full of hope and faith and love tonight? Is it because of listening to Ella Fitzgerald sing Christmas Carols? Is it the warmth of the fireplace? Is it the bitter cold and snow blanket that is just on the other side of the door? Is it the brightly lit tree (real fir!)? Something happened two thousand years ago. Sitting here in the Ottawa Valley I feel like I am in the best part of the best country in the world at the best possible time, I cannot imagine living in in Bethlehem, Nazareth, Capernaum , or any other town of village there at that time. If your best friend was King Herod and your worst enemy was the Roman Occupier it is not much of an existence. Yet out of this murky pond of brutality and oppression something emerged. Whatever, or whoever emerged has created a fire that shines rays of trust, hope, charity, faith, love, understanding, cooperation, learning, teaching, and beauty wherever it light is allowed to shine. It not about details of geography, about historical timing, or the mechanics of biology. When you are cold you want to get warm – you don’t worry about the details of what kind of fire you have, is it from spruce or oak or even coal. I think that the biggest mistake people make is think that the warmth of the fire is secondary, and all that matters is the type of fuel. So enjoy the warmth of Christmas, it is there for all and free for the taking. Merry Christmas!!!