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The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor,
to heal the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives
and release to the prisoners,
to announce a year of favor from the LORD
and a day of vindication by our God.
“Yet in thy dark streets shineth
O Little Town of Bethlehem
We never forget the Christmases of our childhood.
How beautiful it is that, at the darkest time of the year, we are graced with the eternal light of the Lord. All the good things we need are given us through his love.
And, Isaiah’s prophecy of Our Savior’s coming has so many good things that are part of the greatest event yet to come.
One memory of my childhood in the Chicago area is the marking of Christmas in secular settings. One memory that especially has stayed with me is the nativity creche on the front lawn of the public library, which was down the street from my parish church and grade school. Perhaps it’s my K-8 attendance at that school which gave me a lens in which I looked at life through a religious prism. But it may be much more. In the ’50s and into the early 1960s, at least, such symbols were ingrained into civic psyche, and I can’t recall any direct objections. Maybe there were, but I can’t recall any legal or moral issues arising from the creche, trees, or any other Christmas symbols. Those decisions came much later, and quietly.
Now, we are secular. We do not appreciate fully the gift foretold to us, the ultimate gift of Love. We are preparing not to buy, but to receive.
But … change your heart.
We will receive glad tidings for our poor spirits, healing for our tired souls, liberty from sadness and darkness, and loneliness.
It’s coming. It’s over the next hill, to use an alliteration.
We will look down, and our joy will be there in a light so bright, we won’t be able to take it all in. But, we will be glad, we will be healed, we will be free.
We will have his gift, freely given to us.
We will know all that is coming for us … in pure love.
Image: Christmas Play, theirhistory, Flickr