Thursday, December 25, 2008


Star of Wonder

I have been very down during this holiday season because of the move and a few personal tragedies that have occurred. I know several readers have been concerned and I have regretted imposing my emotional baggage on this audience. Today I have been somewhat restored to the true Christmas spirit.

So many of my recent past Christmases have been solemn for various reasons. But, today I spent Christmas with a family with children. I had said in a previous post that I felt Christmas is a holiday of love that is best enjoyed by romantics and families with young children. Today I experienced a Christmas morning that included smiles and laughter. I felt the joy of a family that was able to overcome for a few hours the worries of a bad economy and the anxiety of a troubled world and focus on each other. I felt warmth and inclusion with their family. I was given the temporary status of “Uncle” and had a stocking on their mantle of my own. There was a small gift for me to remember what it feels like to tear paper and be surprised. I had hoped that light and love would come back to my Christmas and it has.

Recently my family and friends have once again endured loss during the holiday season. I expected to have another melancholy holiday. But, last night the symbolism of the Catholic service I attended spoke to me. I was reminded of the plight of a young expectant mother in need of comfort on a night when no one was willing to offer shelter. I sat in a darkened room at midnight imagining how much greater her sense of hopelessness and despair must have been. My family and friends have recently suffered loss and felt such despair. Then the church lights blazed at the stroke of midnight, and I and the other musicians struck a brilliant fanfare on brass instruments, organ and voice. Suddenly, light came from darkness, hope returned to the world and a Child was born.

This morning I am reminded that this holiday is all about hope. Its all about love. This is the day when mankind was given a way out of hopelessness and despair. Remember that in the darkest most desperate hour a miracle can occur. In our scientific age we rarely consider the act of birth to be miraculous. But, let’s remember the miraculous potential that every life has. The life of one Child changed the world. I pray that each of us continues to experience that light, love, and sense of hope during the remainder of this season and for the entire new year.

Photo credit, C.A. Muller at Flickr

1 comment:

GND said...

Alan... I was moved with deep emotion to your experience. I am so grateful that you experienced the "Christ child" with renewal. I, too, sat in a Presbyterian service last night at midnight and was renewed with the deep thought of the gratefulness of the "Christ child" in my life. May we all be launched into the new year with a deep caring for our fellow man and looking for what we can do for others. Your friend... Greg