christmas is fast approaching, and life seems to be way too hectic. we've been decorating inside and outside our house for weeks now. we started early hoping that december would be more relaxing. despite the early start, that doesn't seem to be the case. i have to admit, though, that the end of decorating is in sight. we only have two more strings of lights to put outside, along with a few pieces of "yard art."
at the same time, this doesn't seem to be the season of peace on earth and good will to all that christmas is supposed to be. the fighting continues in the middle east. domestic terrorism in the usa seems to be a greater danger that ever, even while the demagogues rant about rounding up "illegals" and pinning green crescents, so to speak, on all muslims in the country. where is the promise of christmas now? for millions of people devastation, hunger, and persecution are the reality, while we "christians" are more concerned with taking advantage of the latest retail bargain.
we watch a video of a young black man being shot sixteen times by a chicago policeman as onlookers scream. we learn that other policeman seem to have erased video that would have brought this tragedy to light much sooner. we read of the police persecution of a large segment of our population, and many are angry when this persecution is brought to light. a leading presidential candidate suggests that a protestor who dared speak of this at one of his rallies deserved to be "roughed up." yet we are more worried about getting our home decorations just right.
may we recall the man and woman who sought a place to have their baby and found the humblest of rooms. may we remember the man who reached out to the abandoned in his society while the pious collaborated with the oppressors. may we recall his words that the first will be last and the last will be first. in whatever small ways we can, may we do what we can to make christmas a reality, not merely a promise. shalom.