Christmas Hope Reigns Eternal

It was warm yesterday…but the temperature is more seasonal today. A few days ago I wrote of the disappearance of the Christmas ornaments along the walking path in Campus Woods. There were as of a little while ago today…several new ornaments! This is direct evidence that the Grinch can not steal Christmas! I have heard most of my life that we become old too soon and wise too late… Since I retired from Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale. Life is not meant to be taken fast…it is meant to be savored…slowly. Between the cacophony of television and on line media…our senses become somewhat numb to the quiet and peace of nature and friendship and serious and lengthy intricate thought… I fear that our thoughts and beliefs and emotions are molded by news and political and religious commentary. If left alone I wonder if we would witness a more congenial and collegial relationship among peoples?

Here we are in the midst of Advent. The 3rd Sunday of Advent is tomorrow. We patiently wait for the birth of Jesus…for whom there was no room in the Inn…and was compelled to be born in a manger among the donkeys and sheep and the wise men of the east…and Mary and Joseph. Jesus was born into a world of religious elitism and demagogy. He entered a world where the temple had been overrun with money changers and capitalist who worshiped the shekel more than the promises of God… And, so, today we fine ourself in a society that applaudes and honors and worships financial gain…and looks down upon the needy and the hungry and the homeless…as obviously having some type of character deficit…or out of the favor of a God who bequeaths and bestows financial riches on his chosen and who turns a blind eye on the suffering humanity that are at our doorstep and who sleep rough outside our favorite 5 star restaurants…

Humans have the propensity to praise themselves if they fall in feces and come out smelling like a rose! So often we become enamored and endeared to our temporary condition. We become convinced that if somehow we got a break in life or a ‘leg-up’ or were in the right place at the right time…that we are anointed with some type of brilliance…or that we no longer breath the same air as the great unwashed…we are breathing a rarified air that is meant for God’s special children… The Hope of Christmas illustrates to us the mean and poor circumstances that the Christ child entered into the world of humans. A carpenter’s son and his mother great with child out of wedlock…and the pungent smell of the stable and the bleating of the goats and the braying of the sheep…and the brilliance of the star that the wise men followed…

Perhaps it is the lighting of the Advent Candle. Perhaps it is the joy of a Christmas Carol. Perhaps it is a Christmas prayer that the New Year will bring good health and peace…and love for all mankind…

Photo by Nubia Navarro (nubikini) on

The cries of the Con men and women of the world are shattering our ears! I worked around more than one university leader who found themselves in distress and endangered as to their continued viability and employment. I listened to their assessment that the university and my job and many others were not only in danger but soon to be lost…when in reality their narcissism had convinced them that whatever happened to them…as they were all powerful and all important…would happen to the poor line workers and diligent laborers who supported their success…unappreciated! The Christ child is coming…the hope of our world is about to appear…and he is not coming because of the rich and powerful and mighty…he is coming to minister and bring hope to the poor of the land…

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