“If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day.” Jim Valvano
Today is December 26, 2016, the 361st day of the year. Today is Boxing Day.
On this day in 1776, George Washington defeated the Hessians in the Battle of Trenton.
It is Christmas Eve and I am playing the piano during Communion at a worship service. I am playing a piece out of the United Methodist hymnal – No. 235 to be exact – called Rock-a-Bye, My Dear Little Boy. It’s a Czech carol that is a lullaby.
It’s a solemn, peaceful mood, as persons are coming forward to receive Communion. Suddenly, I burp. Not a loud burp, but loud enough that my wife and youngest daughter, who are sitting in the choir loft, both hear it.
I’ll be reminded of this one for a while.
Those who are familiar with C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe from The Chronicles of Narnia series, understand that Lewis uses the character of Aslan, the lion, to represent Jesus. With that in mind, the following quote from the book is certainly appropriate for the Christmas season.
Aslan a man? Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the woods and the son of the great Emperor-beyond-the Sea. Don’t you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion—the Lion, the great Lion.”
“Ooh!” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
“That you will, dearie, and make no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver, “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”
“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about being safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.” (from “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis)
We love the sanitized image of the perfect Baby Jesus, that we can handle and adore and pet and swaddle and cuddle and treat as our personal pet. However, Jesus did not come into the world to be safe. He came into the world to upset the status quo – to confront what was – and certainly is now – wrong with our world, including the religious… especially the religious.
If we really want to encounter the Christ Child born in Bethlehem so long ago, we best be wary of what He might do.
I am somewhat ashamed that I do not know much of the sad story in Aleppo. That is on me. I celebrate those who work in an unimaginable hell-on-earth.
I came across this tweet. This… this… is more likely the reason why Christ descended to Earth than our Disneyfied Christmas celebrations.