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Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



Silent Night. Holy Night. All is calm, all is bright…

In our warm homes the lights on the tree twinkle and shine against the window facing the world. Under the tree, presents, more presents than we ever imagined, carefully wrapped with ribbons and bows. The kids sleep quietly in their beds, blankets pulled up over them while we sneak around the house preparing for Santa and making sure that everyone’s stockings are taken care of. In the kitchen the turkey is sitting in a water bath in the sink, the alarm clock set for 5 a.m. at which point it will go into the oven and begin a marathon morning of cooking.

We will get into our cars and travel to be with family, to spend hours eating and arguing and laughing while the children discard more food than they eat and really can’t wait another moment to open gifts. That time will come and wrapping will be discarded and cards lost as we try to remember who gave what to whom. There will be football and Dads and brothers napping on the couch while watching the game. Then there will be a supper of leftovers, or leftovers packed away into containers as members scatter off to another huge meal and more presents. Outside the soft gentle flakes of a Christmas snow begin to fall and the people look to the Christ child thankful for all they have in life.

In another place there is a lonely shut-in, who has no one to spend Christmas, let alone any day, with some one. Whose Christmas meal will be a peanut butter sandwich or a bowl of cereal over the sink. There won’t be a tree, there are no gifts to give. They will pass the day like any other day and look to the Christ child, thankful to be alive.

In a car at the end of a lonely dirt road a family will huddle trying to stay warm. The adults will go hungry this night, only so the children can sleep without the gnaw of hunger in their stomachs. There will be no tree, no warmth, no home. Santa won’t find them for there is no chimney here, at the end of the road. And yet, as their frozen breath fogs the windows they will look to the Christ child, thankful to be together.

In a mind, somewhere close to you. There will be loneliness and hurt and anger. There will be stress over where to get work, how to pay the bills and how to keep the house warm. There will be ghosts haunting that mind, not allowing it rest or peace, and yet it will think back to the Christ child and be thankful for not having to face the day alone.

You and I, we all spend so much of our time preparing for this day. We shop and shop and shop some more. We rob Peter to pay Paul and do our best to dance to make everyone happy. We make sure that we can afford the affection of those around us, never once taking the chance of walking in and saying, “I can only give you me.”. We will over eat, more than once that day. And we’ll make promises to be gentler, kinder, more loving through the New Year. But in truth, we will never ever know just how rich we are. We won’t pay much thought to those other people out there, the ones who so desperately need the hope of the Christmas holiday. Perhaps the saddest part is we don’t ever realize the Christ child is looking down at us, reminding us that he only asks that we follow him. We fall short don’t we?

Sleep in heavenly peace…Sleep in heavenly peace.

See you next week…Remember, we’re all in this together.