Welcome To The Holiday Season!

As I walked the beautiful campus of Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale I was amazed that the beautiful leaves are still resplendent in their majestic array of colors! It seems like a dream that 2020 has gone by like the blink of an eye! Where did it go…

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

Aaron has a birthday this month…I am excited about it! Then comes Thanksgiving which is MJ’s favorite holiday! I really did not realize the significance of the holiday before we were wed…soon to be 43 years ago! In my childhood home I watched the Macy’s Day Parade…and that was it! My mom was already planning our Christmas celebration! Mom dedicated the months of November and December to planing her Christmas dinner and the cleaning of our house and the purchase of Christmas gifts… What took her roughly 7 weeks probably could have been done in half the time…but mom took her Christmas planning seriously. One year I received a Big Swinger Polaroid camera. It was grey and it took an almost magical instant snap shot of whatever moment in time that you captured! I took it on my 6th grade trip to New Harmony, Indiana and snapped a pack of film…and maybe two. I still have the photos…and one of them was taken at home of me playing my tenor saxophone. I as extremely proud of my saxophone and my music teacher told me that I played the best set of scales that he had ever heard…for a beginner…

We have so much to thankful for. We are alive and sentient on a beautiful planet in a vast galaxy that is a part of untold and infinite space. Somehow we believe that our ideas and conspiracy theories and peccadilloes are the only thing going in God’s creation. We would be wrong! Pastor Kerry reminded me this morning during our Zoom church service that the very reasons that one side of the political tug of war says are the reasons that they are voting for their candidate…are the same reasons that the other side of the battle pronounces are the causes they are supporting for the candidate of their choice… The election is upon us! It happens this Tuesday…although 90 million Americans have already cast their ballots. The lofty concepts of the United States are ideas that it is up to us to make real… It is not automatic and no one will do it for us… It would be the same with christianity. It is up to us to be God’s arms and legs on this earth! It is on our backs… to be the eyes and ears and tongues of truth for the principles of what our nation is founded upon. If we believe that we are a nation of immigrants and a open door to the promise of Emma Lazarus, ‘With silent lips. ‘Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breath free, The Wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!’

The holidays are coming and they mean something to most of us. Thanksgiving is significant and Christmas is celebrated all over the world. We love these special days because of the principles that they hold and that we grasp on to. The same can be said for our nation. It has been a golden city on the hill for all of the peoples of the earth… The United States has represented hope for the hopeless! We have brought comfort to the oppressed and food and shelter to the hungry and homeless… Shall we continue…or shall we seek another identity that is self-serving and insular and isolationist in a global society?

Hate speech and mockery and violence is not the clarion call of our Constitution and our Declaration of Independence! Vitriol and division of our citizenry is not the answer to our problems but rather a catalyst of civil war… ‘Weeping my endure for the night…but joy cometh in the morning!’ Psalm 30:5 KJV

Photo by Mateus Souza on Pexels.com

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