Ours was the most calm and uneventful Christmas day in quite some time. Our family Christmas gathering was Friday, with all of the kids and grandkids coming to Boulder for games, cookie decorating, assembling MCC school kits, gift exchanges, and eating a bit too much. Thus Sunday was spent 'recuperating' - Sunday paper, a walk in Sanitas Park including a telephone conversation with the folks while sitting on one of the stone chairs on the side of the mountain, and paying cursory attention to the NBA games whilst reading the many Time Magazines that accumulated during my time in Indiana.
Some of the news and articles made me think about Christmas Day around the world. Christmas is one of the most meaningful annual events for Christians. But worldwide, Christians account for approximately 33% of the population, meaning that for 4,690,000,000 people, Christmas has no meaning, and indeed is a day that many revile. There were several bombings including an attack on Catholics in Nigeria that killed at least 39, suicide bombings in Afghanistan and Iraq, and so on. While much time was spent on Sunday praying for peace, prayers must be followed by action - as the song goes, let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.
So - here is an existential Christmas greeting sent along by a friend and colleague:
I don’t know that despair is sin or that hope is grace but I believe that we make the world in an image whose likeness recalls the fiercest storms on summer days. We place the darkest night in mid-day sunshine and cool water where the forest burns. We chose the walk and mark the time until one distant day, sunset comes and before the night has died, we have. Best to love than regret. Always.