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Thursday, 22 December 2016

The Blessing of Christmas be Yours…

I’ve finished my Christmas worship preparations: 2 Christmas Eve services and Christmas Day all ready to go.  I have some cookies to bake and some other gifts to finalize, but things are looking good for the start of the 12 days.

To all who might take a moment to read these blogs, I extend my joy and blessing to you all, and to the whole world.  May we all know peace and love this Christmas and in in the new year.

I’ve been listening to some of my Christmas songs on my iPod; my daughter gave me a copy of Michael Bublé singing “My Grown-Up Christmas List” by David Foster and Linda Thompson-Jenner.  While it is a little schlocky for my tastes, it does capture the essence of hope and love in the world.  It’s been covered by many pop singers over the years.  The refrain of this song is this:
No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end
This is my grown-up Christmas list.

These words do reflect my hope for Christmas and beyond, especially as 2016 comes to a close; it has been a challenging year for many for a whole host of reasons, politically and personally!

My understanding of Christmas has always been informed by the idea that the Christ Child was first shown to shepherds who featured very low in the 1st century social stratification.  In humility, the Christ was born among us and within us.  William Kurelek, a Canadian artist and writer from the prairies, created a book entitled A Northern Nativity.  The essence of this book is the line, “If it happened then, why not now?  If it happened there (i.e. Bethlehem), why not here?”  There are depictions of tough Canadian situations in which the birth of the Christ child occurs.  The Christ child is always found in challenging situations inviting justice and love.

May the Christ break into our world anew this year with the new life of justice, love and hope.  Justice, love and hope are desperately needed in Aleppo, and in the downtown Eastside of Vancouver; they are in need wherever life is lived.  May 2017 truly be a year in which we figure out how to live in harmony with creation and with each other!

Blessings to you all!

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