Wednesday, December 23, 2009

High hopes for life worth living

Susan Boyle is singing about "high hopes for life worth living" from the song "I Dreamed a Dream" while I finish wrapping Christmas presents and put them under the tree. Taking a break, I pick up The Week magazine (December 20, 2009), and turn to the section called "The Last Word." Here journalist Hank Stuever writes about the "single largest communal event in America": Christmas. Stuever, author of the book Tinsel, writes about his search for Christmas presents, and what he calls the biggies: "our weird economy, our modern sense of home, our oft-broken hearts, and our notions of God." In searching for a Christmas present he writes:

"I came upon one word over and over, emblazoned on various plaques, ornaments and other bric-a-brac. It was at every holiday crafts bazaar I went to, or somewhere in the holiday decor of every house I visited -- soldered in pewter, or sewn into Christmas stockings, or decoupaged onto wood. The word was BELIEVE. A team of reindeer pulled it, B-E-L-I-E-V-E, across a front lawn. Believe people kept telling me."

This afternoon in one brief space of time, I am confronted with high hopes for life worh living, our sense of home, our notions of God, and the blessedness of believing. And I thought how each of these come together in an astounding way in the birth of Jesus Christ, some 2000 years ago. God incarnate comes to make a home among us in order to show us how to live a life worth living, to set straight our notions of God, and finally, to give us Someone in whom we can believe without our hearts being broken. This Christmas in the year of our Lord 2009, may we believe there truly can be a shift in world consciousness, bringing peace on earth and good will among all persons of every race, religion and nation.

A blessed Chritmas to all!

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