Tuesday, December 19, 2006

At the Heart of Christmas

Last evening I had occasion to spend time with a colleague who had just returned to the island from an extended stay in England. He was relieved to be back here for Christmas and away from what he referred to as the "political correctness" of Great Britain and the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, which now cringes even at good old "Merry Christmas" as a greeting.

My friend was of the opinion that this denial of the Christian roots of the celebrations marking the winter solstice and imposing both greetings and cards with no message or content beyond "Happy Holidays" has a certain militancy about it. He was of a mind that this brand of "political correctness" goes beyond old-fashioned agnosticism and secularist irenicism. I listened and thanked the Lord for every card I had received with Mother and Child, shepherds, angels and star, Magi and Flight into Egypt.

Spontaneously, my thoughts turned to reflect on the devastation brought to the body Christian as the Roman Empire crumbled and St. Augustine breathed his last in a Hippo under siege by hordes of folk moving west and south under pressure from peoples farther east moving their way. The faith and faithful became diluted in the mix of new-comers labeled "barbarians".

Look in your basket of cards received and see what you find! Check your language of greeting and your front porch decorations! Are you lighting a lamp on the road to Bethlehem or sitting in the shadow of death?

Christmas is nothing if it's not the Child, born for us and for us given. Give him worship and praise! Proclaim His Name and welcome the return of the Light to a waiting world!

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