"The Wondering Jew"
Dec. 17, 2006 - 22:21 MST
Every Sunday in The Denver Post section of the paper various columnists have a spot. Today a spot was for John Andrews a The Denver Post columnist. Some of his thinking is parallel to the way I feel. Quoted here in full:
HEADING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS
"This holiday stress is killing me."
"Yeah, my schedule is murder, too."
"Hold it; Christmas and death in the same thought ? That can't be right. It actually has been right for 2,000 years now. Life is brutal, and it was not in denial but in defiance of evil that Jesus' followers believe he came."
"A wave of death from the Judean king accompanied the holy birth, according to Matthew: "When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under." Joseph and Mary fled for their lives with the baby. The world has only gotten bloodier since then."
"This Christmas finds human life more endangered than ever, with weapons of mass destruction emboldening the Islamic East and a new, goulish bioethics rising in the secular west."
"In Backbone, Colorado, my hometown of the heart, up near timberline on Cottonwood Pass, folks celebrate this season of Christ's nativity with a sensible approach -- warm and reverent, yet realistic and unsentimental -- that holds a lesson for all of us amid the jaded clamor of a flatlands urban Christmas. The key is perspective."
"There among the Aspen and lodgepoles, towering firs and wind-gnarled cedars, Backbone foks have learned not to lose sight of the forest for the trees. They see things in scale."
"Not all worship Jesus, but nearly all recognize how much his worshipers with their biblical worldview have done to civilize and humanize our world. So recognizing, they insist on keeping that worldview (which informs the Declaration of Independence, after all) central in their civic life. Dissenters, though politely accepted, are given no veto over so vital a question."
"Backbone folks don't imagine that the birth in Bethlehem solved all problems or perfected all believers. Each is aware of his own dark side. But history convinces them that the Christmas star illumined the darkness for good, and that wise men still follow it. My hometown knows that Mary's son changed the scene dramatically. "Long lay the world in sin and error pining," as the carol says, "till He appeared and the soul felt its worth."
"Men and women with a new sense of worth, in the centuries after the manger and the cross, worked and prayed their way from a Rome where might made right, to a Britain where Magna Carta prevailed -- and then to a New World where we Americans, "the almost-chosen people" in Lincoln's words, now freely govern ourselves and seek to share our freedom globally. That's what we call a Christmas gift up in Backbone."
"Home for Christmas" is one of the most powerful phrases any American can hear. Religion aside, we all feel a pull to get back where we belong, especially on these longest nights of the waning year. Even if distances are prohibitive or doors hopelessly closed, Dec. 25 will still find most of us (if only in our dreams) "home for Christmas . . . . where the love light gleams."
"So there's your greeting card from my hometown of the heart, the place I'm heading next week on Christ's birth day. Where will you be heading home to, at least in spirit ? A roof and a fireside, somebody we can hold -- these matter a lot. A door into hope and truth matters even more. May you find yours this Christmas."
I am sure that John Andrews and I could find many items to reach disagreement regarding, he is after all a Republican, but what he says here has the ring of truth to me. And although there seems to be fewer and fewer followers of that old philosophy, "Peace On Earth, Good Will To Men" yet I think many a person in a torn and bedraggled country prays in their heart for a place to live where that is a practice.
Even though often we can see opposing teams, each kneeling in prayer, asking God for their victory, ambivalence seems to be rife in so much of present day life. But, at least they are praying to a higher power, even though it is a bit laughable.
I shall try to let my heart soften and help others worse off than I am, not for my sake but for one who went before me so long ago.
I am truly at Home For Christmas, amid a loving family.
So from this keyboard, may I wish you all have a nice trip HOMEWARD BOUND . . . . .0 comments so far