The shortest day of the year – allegedly-- has dawned the brightest since our arrival in Annapolis, and the warmest. It’s now warmer here than in Dallas, with temperatures tomorrow topping 70. Go figure.
Outdoor Christmas lights, while not at the insane levels that illumine the Park Cities, are more abundant than I remember. Once upon a time, I thought displaying too many Christmas lights was tacky – what was preferable I thought were decorations reminiscent of colonial Williamsburg. I still remember the first – and only – garden club meeting I attended; they taught us how to make “natural” boxwood wreaths. I never drew upon that wealth of information again – I never had access to boxwood was my excuse of choice.
But having a “fresh” door decoration was as important to me as having a live tree was to Doug and the kids. Some years, it was almost the last minute until I got a wreath up . . . and it dawned on me when assessing them, that “tacky” was an adjective with broader boundaries than over-the-top outdoor displays.
An unexpected and fulfilling delight remains the 24/7 Christmas music available on the public radio station, WETA : many familiar carols—but oh so many more pieces and artists that I had never known. So rich are all the words, so delightful the music – as a rich a fare for my heart, as the lights are for my eyes!
God, keep me from just humming along, and ignoring this freely available supply to all who will listen fresh spring of hope and help!
Americans who do not believe in the birth of Christ, much less His life and death, still enjoy the trimmings of the celebration the church observes. So, Christians here can freely listen and sing our faith we who walked in the dark have seen a great light. (Isaiah 9:2) But plenty of Christians cannot – especially the “long-suffering, war-torn, not going anywhere Christians of Syria.”
[Associate Professor at the Lebanese-American University Habib] Malik admits of the three monotheistic religions in the region, “Christianity is most beleaguered.” Muslims have captured territory and control political power. Jews have found sanctuary in the modern state of Israel. “But native Christians in the region have none of this. They tend to be weak and scattered communities … repeatedly subjected to pressure from oppressive regimes and Islamist groups.” (Syrian Bishop Antoine Audo)
Therefore, as we party this holiday, enjoying all the American church proclaims and our nation permits – remember those who suffer. Pray for them, and their oppressors. God help us all to believe the Christ in Christmas!
|AP Photo: Targeting Children|