Extraordinary

If you say he’s ordinary,
I disagree;
Look at what’s going on;
It’s the last minute;
Yet, still so much buying
And selling;
Call it
Last minute marketing;
Last minute rush;
Everything in a hurry;
To get things under control;
The D-hour is at hand;
It’s called Christmas;
Mass and church service
Scheduled for soon;
Never had a feast so big;
With all the world involved;
Wasn’t he so special?
To shake the world thus?
Almost 2000 years gone by,
Since he left the earth;
Yet, still he shakes it
More than any you can think.
He is not ordinary;
He’s extraordinary.

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The Leftchurch’s Corruption Manifested at Christmas

Christmas, Leftism, Mainline churchesThe 2019 Christmas season is once again being corrupted by the Leftward churches of ‘mainstream’ Christianity. The story of God’s only Son being born into the world is being used to fuel a TDS inspired political statement against President Trump.

The latest example has been provided by Claremont United Methodist church just outside of Los Angeles, California. In a leftist ‘edited’ version of the Nativity, the church displayed Jesus, Mary and Joseph separated in three “cages” with a clear explanation from its pastor that it is a critique of Trump’s immigration policy.

Corrupting the Nativity for Political Points 

In an excellent piece for mrctv.org, Brittany Hughes notes that the Claremont pastor, Karen Clark Ristine, posted a photo of the display on Facebook and explained,

Cages

“The theological statement posted with the nativity: In a time in our country when refugee families seek asylum at our borders and are unwillingly separated from one another, we consider the most well-known refugee family in the world. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, the Holy Family,” Ristine continued. “Shortly after the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary were forced to flee with their young son from Nazareth to Egypt to escape King Herod, a tyrant. They feared persecution and death. What if this family sought refuge in our country today?” she asked. “Imagine Joseph and Mary separated at the border and Jesus no older than two taken from his mother and placed behind the fences of a Border Patrol detention center as more than 5,500 children have been the past three years.”

This is not the first time such a distorted display has been featured as part of the particular church’s Christmas ‘celebration.’ A similar display in a Massachusetts Catholic church was erected last year depicting Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, imprisoning the baby Jesus,

in an ICE detention cage while the three Wise Men looked on through a border fence with a “Deportation” sign and a marker that read, “Peace on Earth?”

There are two grievous errors being made by these church organizations, and many others aligned with Leftism, with their use of Scripture. The first and most egregious is the mangling of Scripture that is on public display.

Mangling the Word of God in a Public Display

The Leftist re-imagining of the Nativity amounts to taking a page from the Scriptures and rewriting it into a political bumper sticker. These churches disregard what is actually written in favor of persuading the gullible that President Trump is more intent on murdering ‘immigrants’ than King Herod was about killing infants.

Christmas, Nativity, Leftist churchesThe ‘theological explanation’ behind these atrocious displays is moronic at best, and purposely deceptive at worst. It is moronic to compare Joseph, Mary, and Jesus running for their lives from Herod with people ‘claiming’ asylum who don’t meet the legal definition of a refugee.

Jesus’ earthly family were, in fact, real refugees and in their era, there was no legal system to confirm that. However, within our own immigration system, they would have met the criteria since there was ample proof they would be killed if they returned.

That cannot be said of many who attempt to claim ‘asylum’ in America now. Secondly, they did not seek to live in Egypt indefinitely and returned to their home ‘country’ once the danger had passed.

Third, the holy family did not go through many other nations that offer asylum before reaching their destination. The first choice was Egypt where God told them to go and it was the first safe haven they reached.

None of this is true today concerning the waves of illegal immigrants who claim ‘asylum’ by mouthing the words ‘credible fear,’ without anything other than the word of adults who might not even be related to the children. In some cases, they might be a relative that ‘rented’ the child to get across the border.

ICE agents found a 7-year-old girl last month who said her mother had rented her out to her uncle so they could pose as a family and he could get more lenient treatment at the border. …The ICE cases are in addition to cases detected by Customs and Border Protection. Over the first six months of fiscal year 2019 — October through March — CBP detected more than 3,500 cases of fake families

Comparing this situation to the solitary flight to Egypt by Joseph, Mary, and Jesus is ludicrous. Putting it into the context of the Nativity makes these churches left-wing political hacks unconcerned with the real meaning of Christ’s incarnation.

The Leftchurch’s Moral Preening and Consistent Hypocrisy

hypocrisy, Christmas, leftismThe Christmas season is perhaps the greatest opportunity for the Leftchurch to engage in moral preening by presenting political points masquerading as moral instruction from God’s Word. Yet, their ‘morals’ here are oddly consistent with the rest of the Left’s phony moral high ground.

The consistency is odd because the Left as a whole is consistently hypocritical when it makes its immoral ‘moral’ claims. These episodes of Nativity displays follow the same pattern.

The simplest method of showing the consistent moral hypocrisy of the Left, including here, is to examine what was being said and done in past years by the same Leftists about the same subjects they pontificate about today.

Sometimes the task is even easier than that because the Left gives itself away with its own pronouncements in the present. That is the case here, and the Claremont United Methodist pastor shows how this is done in her own words as quoted above.

“Imagine Joseph and Mary separated at the border and Jesus no older than two taken from his mother and placed behind the fences of a Border Patrol detention center as more than 5,500 children have been the past three years.”

The pastor’s last four words, perhaps unwittingly, reveal the hypocrisy of her supposedly sincere moral outrage. Her mathematical skill is solely applied toward the current administration, implying that this was not a real problem until President Trump came along.

However, the “cages” highlighted in the Nativity displays represent a phenomenon that was created and flourishing during the administration of former President Barack Obama! Yet these churches were not concerned enough about the ‘caging’ of children when Obama was in charge to demonstrate against it then, just as the Leftists in politics and the media were also silent at the time.

…in 2014, Breitbart News’s Border and Cartels Chronicles Editor Brandon Darby broke the story of how child border crossers were being crammed into detention centers and facilities by the Obama administration. These living conditions for border crossers in federal custody, depicted in exclusive photos, went ignored by the establishment media and elected Democrats at the time of their release.

These Nativity displays reveal the ever-malleable morality of the mainstream church which would rather stand with the Socialist Left every issue, particularly today when it comes to opposing President Trump at every turn.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. Matthew 23:27-28 [ESV]

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Thomas’ Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 from Karen Clark Ristine’s Facebook page
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Jared Hansen’sFlickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Kaz Vorpal’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published in TIL Journal

Prepare!

Before you celebrate,
You prepare;
You cannot celebrate well
If you don’t prepare well;
You cannot do anything well
Unless you are ready
To do it well;
And readiness is preparation.
That is Advent;
What Advent is all about;
In her wisdom,
The Church instituted
The liturgical season
Of Advent,
To enable us prepare
For the coming of the Lord;
We have to clean our hearts;
Clean our souls;
And clean our minds;
To welcome him at Christmas;
He should not come
Into a dirty home.
The home should be clean
And well decorated.
Are you cleaning
And decorating it?
Do well to prepare.

The First Promise of Advent

The First Promise of AdventThe four Sundays prior to Christmas are traditionally known as “Advent,” within most Christian churches. It is a time of both anticipation and preparation for the celebration of Christ’s birth into our world more than two millennia ago.

December 1, 2019, is the first Sunday of Advent on the church calendar. Many churches feature special events prior to or even as a part of congregational worship gatherings. These usually include the introduction of Christmas “hymns” or special music selections familiar to most of the people who will attend.

Since Christmas is a time that many people visit churches who don’t regularly attend, Advent is also a time when additional presentations are held such as dramas and musical performances. These special services are often prepared months in advance with the help of numerous volunteers who strive to make the season more meaningful for those who attend.

There are some potential problems with the tradition of Advent that can go largely unaddressed because they are unrecognized. One problem fits the old saying, “familiarity breeds contempt,” in that the more practice one has over many years participating in Advent, the more one can overlook the meaning of doing it at all by simply taking Advent for granted.

Another significant problem involves those who are among casual church-goers whose main motivation may be to observe children or other relatives participating in Christmas plays or in a special choir performance. Instead of taking Advent for granted, these people can easily just dismiss it altogether as one more “event” to attend around the ‘holiday’ season.

In short, this epitomizes the difficulty every church and every pastor has in preparation for this time of year. How can the marvelous message of Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, bring born as a human being to bring His creation the good news of God’s love and grace, be meaningful and impactful for everyone?

The First “Advent” Promise, the Proto-Evangelium

Advent wreathThe four Sundays of Advent also feature an activity only engaged in during this time of year, the lighting of the Advent candles. A different candle is lit each week symbolizing the qualities of hope, faith, joy, and peace given to humanity by the coming of Jesus.

The candles are most often arranged in a circular pattern within an Advent “wreath.” In the center of the wreath, a larger white candle is usually placed to symbolize the birth of Christ, and is thus known as the “Christ candle.” Usually, a short ceremony/teaching accompanies the lighting of each candle to help express the meaning behind the concepts.

I will not delve into the history of how the idea of an Advent season came about and how it has developed until today. Rather, I propose to present a biblical case that the true meaning of Advent is contained and expressed within the Word of God.

I have always believed that the true meaning of anything is inextricably tied to its origin. Therefore, the meaning of Advent as a concept [rather than the meaning of the term itself] can be found in the origin of the concept in the Bible.

Advent originates in the Bible where the writing begins, in the book of Genesis. It is first presented by the words of God in the Garden of Eden in the aftermath of Adam and Eve’s first disobedience of God.

God spoke to Satan who had taken the form of a serpent,

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:15 [ESV]

This verse is known by biblical students and scholars as the proto-Evangelium, or “first gospel” message ever presented.  In the midst of pronouncing the punishment for the original sin of humanity, the LORD drops a nugget of golden “good news” to look forward to in the future.

Gabriel, Mary, AdventSpecifically, God promised that sometime in the future, the offspring of the woman would fight against and triumph over the offspring of the ‘serpent’. It is a unique promise because it identifies the one who will come as the “her” offspring, rather than a descendant from both Adam and Eve.

There are other instances in prophecy when God specifies that the promised One is going to be born of a woman alone. The most familiar of these comes from chapter one of Luke’s gospel as announced to Mary by the angel Gabriel.

And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. Luke 1:30-35 [ESV]

The first promise of Advent is that Christ is coming to fulfill the plan of salvation set in motion way back in Genesis. Moreover, the promise was also that He is coming in a miraculous manner that God alone could accomplish, being born of a virgin!

Advent helps us recall the hope of this promise, and look toward God to fulfill it on our behalf, even at great cost to Himself. Realizing and accepting that promise in each heart brings the ultimate hope for our eternal life in the Kingdom of God.

Take time this Advent season to grab onto the promise of God for yourself through faith in Christ. It will be the best Christmas gift anyone could ever acquire.

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Reel Ministry’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Christine Macintosh’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Percy Sledge Agbunag Carballo’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text

Originally published at TIL Journal

 

Christmas

Many are already into it;
And do you know what
I am talking about?
Christmas;
The Christmas spirit;
The big feast of Jesus,
That rocks the world
Every year is on its way;
Born in Bethlehem
More than 2000 years ago,
This mysterious man
Is remembered
As no other man is;
His name
Is pronounced
More than any other human name;
He is the center of world attention
Every year at Christmas.
Christmas,
Not for Christians only;
Christmas for all
The world, directly
Or indirectly.

Who is this man?

Who is this man?
Wonderful man,
Whose name
Is pronounced
Loud and clear,
Billions of times daily,
In all continents
Of the world.

Who is this man?
Wonderful man,
Born in a little city,
Whose birth day
Is remembered
Months ahead,
And after intensive preparations,
Is celebrated by all
The world.

Who is this man?
Amazing man;
Whose name alone
Puts money into
Billions of pockets;
Who enriches
Those who love him
And those who hate him.

Who is this man
A man among men;
Source of energy,
Protection,
Hope
And happiness
For many.

Who is this man?
So simple and great;
Who loves friends
And foes alike;
Feeds friends and foes
Alike;
Welcomes all,
Friends and foes,
Without discrimination.

Who is this amazing man?
Who stands for Justice?
Who is an example?
Who is so simple?
Who experienced untold
Suffering
Yet, never complained?
And offered himself as sacrifice
For the world.

Do you know this Jesus?
Do you know this Christmas?
Do you know this son of Mary?
What do you know about him?
Is he your friend?
Does he put food on your table?
Doesn’t he put money
Into your pocket?
Isn’t life better for you
Because of him?

What a lovely Christmas!

What a lovely Christmas! Do well to enjoy The magic of Christmas; It does not come everyday; If you want the best christmas videos, Try this “Must see playlist’. You can also
Enjoy the beauty of Christmas decorated. Christmas is a time For light to shine. Light up the Christmas spirit in your home.
Since the eve of this special day,
When the bells tolled at Mass
And other religious services,
It was easy to predict
What a festive day it would be;
It homes stand Christmas trees,
Bethlehem transported
To various homes;
The joy of Christmas fill
the air;
The love of Christmas
Grips hearts;
Sharing the way to go.
What a wonderful time;
A time so amazing;
When the boy child is born;
Merry Christmas to you!

Naughty or nice – what do you choose?

Dear friends,

How are you all doing?? I know you all are having the best time of the year celebrating Christmas with family and friends. Merry Christmas to you all!

I am not a Christian but I love Christmas and everything that it represents. I love the whole festive feeling. How do I know about it? Well, I read books themed around Christmas and love the magic it makes me feel.

So recently, while browsing through the YouTube for some Hallmark movies, all the Christmas movies showed up. I just randomly selected a movie named Naughty or Nice.

According to the legend, the Santa has a naughty or nice list for every kid and the kids will get gifts according to their behaviour during the whole year.

In the movie,  the lady got the magical “Naughty or Nice” book of Santa. In the book, she could see the naughty side of  few people she knew and found some horrible things done by them which she brought out in the open and humiliated them.

Then, one day, her mother told her something very simple yet profound.  She said that every person has a naughty and a nice side. Naughty and nice are like the two sides of the same coin and it depends on what we choose to see.

That’s when she turned the book to the other side and saw all the nice things done by the same people.

Wow, what a wonderful message! Do we all need a magical book to see the good in others?

People do bad things because of their circumstances and not because they are bad people. Every person has something good in him/her. It is important to understand this to be able to look beyond the bad done by them and to be able to forgive them.

It is very important for our ownselves that we see good in others because it makes our life a lot easier. We all are human beings and we make our share of mistakes and learn. Then why hold on to the bad done by somebody instead of looking at all the good done by that person?

I loved the story and the message it conveyed. It is a lesson I will never forget. I am also guilty of looking at the mistakes of others but this story made me aware of my this habit.

I now know that every time  I notice the naughty (bad in somebody) I will look for the nice (good) in the person.

So, this Christmas, let us try to look for the good in others and make life easier for us.

What do you think? 

Love,

Rashmi

A Christmas Miracle

The middle-eastern stranger walked into the Baptist church located in one of the rougher parts of the city. Even by its tough standards, the man appeared poor, ragged, and beyond hope. His stained, dirty fatigue jacket had threadbare holes beginning to form where it had been slept in. A gray hoodie pullover lay hidden beneath the battered jacket, another layer to protect the lost and homeless against the cold cruel night of the mid-Atlantic. The hoodie itself partially hid the man’s face from view.

The old deacon saw all he needed to see. The man’s matted long hair stuck out from beyond the hoodie. It’s greasy, brown strands lay against the hood and the man’s neck. Disgusting, thought the deacon to himself. As if he heard the deacon’s thoughts, the stranger looked from the back of the church directly at the church official. The stranger’s dull, brown eyes appeared sad. The deacon gently elbowed his friend as they stood at the front of the church preparing to accept the offering.

The middle-aged man whispered, “John, look back there at what just walked in. I told you we needed to lock the doors to keep out the homeless.”

“Shhh,” said John, and then he whispered back, “Please Frank, it’s Christmas Eve.”

“Humph,” responded Frank. “I’m putting an end to this now. There are homeless shelters at the end of the block after all.”

Frank handed John his offering plate and quietly walked down the aisle as the church continued to pray for the offering and those in need. Frank walked up, pointed at the stranger and motioned with his finger for him to follow. The two walked out of the front entrance of the church together. Even though Frank was three feet ahead, the homeless man’s body odor made Frank gag.

Once beyond the door, Frank spun around and faced the stranger, “Look, buddy, you can’t just come crawling in and interrupt our service. If you want to get warm, head on down the street. They got coffee, food, and cots. They even have showers, and taking one might do you some good.”

Frank got a better look at the bedraggled stranger. His face seemed to fit a man in his thirties, but the sadness in his features caused him to look far older. His pants were marked with mud stains and stains that Frank did not want to imagine the source of. The lost man stuck out his hand. His fingernails were cracked, long, and black underneath.

The grimy man finally spoke, “Hi, my name is Joshua.”

Frank looked at Joshua’s hand for a few seconds and finally stuck out his own and shuddered as their hands met. Joshua’s hand was warm and calloused. Frank turned Joshua’s hand slightly back and forth to look for needle marks. He noticed a large scar on the back and front of Joshua’s hand.

Frank released his grip, “How’d you get that scar.”

Joshua smiled for the first time, and Frank swore his appearance got younger. “Oh, that happened a long time ago. I got it helping out my father.”

Frank nodded and asked, “So, you’re used to working hard?”

Joshua laughed slightly and gave Frank a friendly smack on the shoulder. “If you only knew half of what I’ve had to do. Hard work is a welcomed break.”

Frank shook his head confused, and then asked, “I don’t get it. Why were you in the church to get warm? Why are you homeless? Somebody like you should be doing much better.”

Joshua smiled and nodded. A light seemed to flash for a moment behind his dull, brown eyes. He reached out and took Frank’s hands in his. Frank wanted to pull back in disgust, but the warmth of Joshua’s hands and the peace that suddenly fell over him chased away all thoughts of the stranger’s sullied appearance. “I didn’t come to church to get warm,” said Joshua. “I came to worship my father.”

Frank wanted to protest. He wanted to call Joshua a liar, but something inside was stopping him from saying a word.

Joshua continued, “Frank, I see what you’ve been doing for me here. I know that people can be thankless and cruel. I know what it feels like to be used just to get a free meal, but you are doing my work. The shelter up the road is full of men you have helped. Did you know they are planning to come here after the service with a gift for you?”

Tears begin to flow down Frank’s cheeks. He slowly moved his head side to side as he spoke, “I didn’t. How do you know all of this? Who are you?”

A smile spread across the dirty man’s face, “Oh, Frank. You know who I am.”

Frank looked into Joshua’s eyes, and fear struck his heart. His knees began to buckle and Joshua slid himself underneath Frank’s shoulder to hold him up.

Joshua chuckled and walked Frank over so he could sit on a bench in front of the church. “Easy, Frank. We don’t want to make a scene. Just rest here a moment. I came to tell you not to become jaded. Keep doing the work you have been created for. Through you, many of the outcast of this world will come to know me and their lives will be changed. In turn, they will reach many men and women. Don’t lose your faith in me.”

Frank put his head in his hands and quietly wept for a moment. He took a deep breath, wiped his eyes and looked up. Joshua was gone. Frank looked down at the dirty street, took a deep breath, looked towards heaven with a smile and said, “Thank you.” As Frank walked back into the church he joined the chorus of men, women, and children singing “Mary did you know?” He joined his friend John near the rear of the church and took back his offering plate with a broad smile upon his face.

George looked out over the city skyline. His high-rise condominium offered him a view of the city’s steel and concrete canyon. In the blackness of Christmas Eve the city’s lights were especially festive, and yet George felt empty. He hated the black tux he was wearing. His father always avoided such stuffy events. George’s eyes misted at the thought of his deceased father.

Dad, you died way too soon, thought George. He turned and looked inside his condominium. He did not know half the guests he saw milling about. Plus ones for a room full of people who were there just to be seen. George turned back and talked to the cold night air, “It’s not lonely at the top, it’s desolate.” George looked up towards heaven, “Dad, I would give all of this away if it meant you could’ve lived longer. Thank you for giving me everything you did, but what I really wanted all these years was time with you. We could have lived on less.”

George heard the sliding glass door open. A middle-eastern stranger he had not been introduced to walked through the opening and closed the door behind him. His black tuxedo was tailored and silk. It seemed to almost glow against the pail city lights and moon. His black beard was trimmed perfectly, and his hair, although down to his shoulders was freshly styled and washed. George knew he needed to put on a welcoming face. He never knew when a stranger could turn into a business ally or enemy.

George stuck out his hand, “Hi there, George McGovern, but you can call me George. I don’t believe we’ve met yet.”

The stranger nodded and took George’s hand. In contrast to the vise grip and limp handshakes of the evening, the new party goer’s handshake felt warm and welcoming.

“I’m Joshua,” said the stranger.

“Joshua, a pleasure. Who did you come with?” asked George.

Joshua leaned up against the railing and the sliding glass door opened. A caterer walked on to the balcony and offered a tray of red wine. Both men took a glass. Joshua took his time sipping his drink. His brown eyes seemed locked on George as George took a sip from his own glass.

Joshua removed the wine glass from his lips and spoke. “I’m afraid this is a bit embarrassing.”

George raised his eyebrow and interjected, “Oh really? Why? Did you crash my party?”

Joshua shrugged, “Perhaps, although you invited me.”

Both men placed their glasses down on the small table just behind him. George faced Joshua and spoke, “I invited you? I’m not sure how that can be. I don’t even know you.”

Joshua nodded, “That’s true. Although, you want to know more about me. I saw you crying in the cemetery as you spoke to your dead father over his grave. Do you remember when he used to take you to church as a child?”

George’s hand shook slightly as he raised it and rubbed his chin. “How do you know these things? Are you some sort of private investigator?”

Joshua shook his head and smiled. “Look into my eyes, George. Tell me, what do you see?”

George looked into the kind brown eyes of the middle eastern man. There was something familiar about them. He had never seen them before, but George could recall Joshua being there with him as he prayed in the church as a child. They were there when his mother had passed. Somehow, Joshua had always been with him.

George’s voice spoke with a slight quiver, ”Are you, Him?”

Joshua smiled and calmly reached down for his glass and took a sip of wine.

George continued, “I don’t understand. I quit going to church after mom died. I just couldn’t bring myself to believe in you anymore after she left this earth.”

Joshua put down his glass, “Everyone passes eventually, George.”

George shrugged, “I know. I don’t know why I never returned to my faith.”

George startled as Joshua suddenly wrapped his arms around George in a hug. Peace filled George’s soul and the balcony felt as though it was bathed in light, even though the city lights were still shining brightly against the night sky. Joshua released George.

“It’s okay, you’re forgiven,” said Joshua. “That’s why I’m here. You need to remember you are forgiven of all your mistakes. I have important work for you to do.”

George’s forehead crinkled, “You want me to quit the company and go into ministry?”

Joshua let a short laugh pass from his lips and George suppressed the urge to giggle along. “No,” Joshua said. “This company is your ministry. All your wealth and power, use it for the widow and orphan.”Joshua pointed below towards a dark gap in the city’s light show. “Down there, the people need your help. There is a Baptist church, a men’s shelter, and family shelter. I want you to go to the church and ask for a man named Frank. They are in need of financial help, and on occasion a helping hand.”

George nodded, and then pointed over his shoulder with his thumb. “What about these freeloaders? Surely, they don’t need anything.”

Joshua gently turned George to face the glass wall and his Christmas party guests within his condominium. “What do you see?”

George sighed and took a look. His executive assistant, Vanessa and her husband Lewis were chatting, but neither seemed to be paying attention to each other. From across the room, David from accounting was leering at Vanessa who was exchanging glances with him, both would occasionally allow their lips to slightly curl up with each flirting gaze.

George gasped, “Vanessa and David are having an affair?”

Joshua nodded, “Yes. She and her husband have fallen on hard times since he lost his job. David has been lonely since his wife’s untimely death. Unfortunately, they have taken solace in each other.”

“What can I do?” asked George.

Joshua shrugged and said, “I’ve given you a large company and powerful friends. Help Lewis get back on his feet, and spend some time with David. You both have lost people you love. You can empathize with his pain and perhaps make a trusted friend.”

George nodded and continued looking around the room. Some guests were laughing as others stood around with bland or sad looks in their eyes. George began to realize how large the task was before him. He turned to Joshua, but Joshua was gone.

George looked heavenward, “You’re asking more than I think I can handle.”

Inside his heart, George heard the response, “We can do this together.”

A tear gently rolled down George’s cheek. He wiped it away and walked back inside. Making a beeline for David, George stepped in front of David’s view of Vanessa, He shook David’s hand gently and spoke, “I’m sorry I haven’t had time to say hello before now. I believe we have something in common. We have both lost our families. I don’t know about you, but I could use a friend to get together with, especially during the holidays. Are you up for dinner and a few rounds of pool this week?”

David stammered, and then said, “Yes, that sounds great.”

“Terrific,” responded George enthusiastically. Then he turned to his guest and grabbed a glass of wine from a nearby tray sitting on an end table, and raised it.

George’s smiled lit up the room, and he said, “Merry Christmas to all!”

“Merry Christmas,” all replied in unison.

6 things to note about Christmas

  1. Christmas is a feast that gets the whole world on its toes.
  2. We celebrate Christmas not to eat and drink but so that Christ may again be born in our hearts.
  3. If Christmas comes and goes without the fire for Christ burning hotter in our hearts, then we have wasted the time.
  4. Christmas is a time of joy when we are called to share our blessings with those around us.
  5. What you share at Christmas will be multiplied a hundred fold and returned to you.
  6. Christmas comes at the end of the year so it is time for Thanksgiving.

Enjoy Christmas this year.