Guest post by Lawrence T. Geraty
The Christmas season has always been special to me, even though it is often a whirlwind of activities: giving and receiving cards, attending concerts and parties, shopping for appropriate gifts, visiting relatives and friends, and attending special services at church.
Because it comes near the conclusion of the calendar year, it is always a time for reflection as well as making sure that the donations for the various non-profit causes we support have been delivered or mailed before the end of December. But primarily, vertically, it is a time for worship, the Babe in the manger, the Savior who goes about doing good, and being grateful to the One who has transformed my life and who I'm expecting one day to return the Second Time, this time to save us from the mess we humans have made in the world He originally created and vouchsafed to us.
Wow, what would I do without Jesus in my life? He brings balance and is my source of hope. Of course, this year, Christmas was immediately preceded by our national political election—and what a dismaying marathon that was. I think it was Pete Seeger's niece, Kate, who observed that "the world is divided into people who think they are right!" For sure they are divided and it seems that the divisions are unwilling to talk or compromise.
Jesus must be very disappointed in the majority of followers who bear His name. What does He really expect of us in this old world of ours this season?
Horizontally, the Christmas season is a time to "spread the love." There are so many people who always need our love, but especially this season of the year. And it is often so easy to overlook the various categories of people who are systematically marginalized in our society—the poor, the undocumented, the mentally and physically challenged, those who are different from us, gays, singles, even women.
It was Cornel West, one of the most thoughtful African-American scholars I know, who once said, "Justice is what love looks like in public."
So during this Christmas season, I'm trying to do what I can to "fight" for justice in society—putting in the right word at the right place, supporting organizations who foster the same values I endorse, and seeking out for special attention those who may otherwise be missed.
May the Christ of Christmas help us to spread His love around in every corner that needs it! Merry Christmas!
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