Saturday, 24. December 2016 22:18
First to the title, I know this is not a quote from a Christmas song, but a dear friend once pointed out how it was in many ways the underlying theme of much of great literature, and if it isn’t the message of Christmas, I don’t know what is.
Well, we’ve made it…again. Whatever is going to get done is done, and we will discover again that what didn’t get done doesn’t change much. In a little more than an hour, I will be heading for Christmas mass, and then (at least in a post Santa Claus world) Christmas is fully here.
I’ve struggled with my Christmas wish this year more than any other, not because I can’t think of something to wish, but it seems there are too many things needed (and like Aladdin I’m not able to wish for more wishes).
There’s no getting around it, 2016 has been a very hard year for many people, lots of struggles, lots of loss, lots of pain. And, let’s face it, there is a lot of fear and not much optimism for 2017. Daily reading of the news feels more and more that our country and our world are a drug-induced vision that is horrible, but from which we must certainly, eventually, come down…only there is no coming down. Cynicism has always been a protection for some like me, because by believing in the worst of our fellow human beings and our world, we are seldom disappointed. However even the hardest of cynics have to look at 2016 and say, “Wow, I didn’t see THAT coming!”
This is the worst Christmas message I have ever read
So my wish for you, for us all, this year is a little different. It is a wrapped gift. Inside is whatever is needed to see and make possibilities that we can’t see today. I know that we will be faced with a multitude of challenges and will need many reserves of energy, hope and love. These I wish for you. This gift contains whatever is that thing that will keep us each working and fighting for the world that this day represents. “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel. He has come to his people and set them free,” reads the banner hanging on the wall behind me. Christmas is the story of the ineffiable stepping in and changing the story for the good of all people (that’s 100%, not 1% or 99%). In 2017 let’s dedicate the year to changing the story, and the yet unwrapped gift contains hope, perseverance, and above all love. I pray that in the gcoming year you will each be given that thing you need to carry on, to believe, and to change the world.
I will be back in 11 months to do this again.
Merry Christmas! I love you all.