Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Infamy Seventy Years Ago

December 7th seventy years ago is a date that still lives in infamy but is fading into  history. Some young people may say, “Pearl Harbor what is that?” and only know of it from movies.

For the Japanese it was a great success while for us it was a disaster. The disaster galvanized America and became the cause for the defeat of Japan,

This is a day to pause and remember the more than three thousand that died that day and the millions who died because of it. It is also a day to reflect on the horror of war and pray that some day we will learn to make peace instead. Sadly we are still learning that lesson but some day I hope we will.    

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Life Is Hard

“Life is hard, short and then you die!”

These were the words of a man who had lost all hope and I listened to his diatribe every time I went to visit him in the nursing home. He was angry for good cause. His legs had stopped working, he had to be attached to oxygen and took more pills than he thought possible. His question was, “How could God do this to me?”

One day I walked into the nursing home and he was in the lounge area. Sitting beside him in a wheelchair with an oxygen tube attached to her nose was a smiling lady about his age. She was also a member of my congregation so I greeted them both. They had known each other all their lives.

He started his familiar “Life is hard, short and then you die,” bit and she piped up and said, “That is true but God never abandons us.” He turned and looked at his long time friend. She continued, “During my darkest moments on my journey in life I felt the strength and love of God right there with me.” He said, “I never felt that.” She reached out and touched his arm and told him, “You never paid attention.”  

Life is hard, short and then you die but God is always with us.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Receiving Christmas Gifts

I want to call your attention to a part of Christmas that adults often overlook. And this aspect of Christmas is just as important and beneficial as giving. I want you to take a moment to think about…receiving gifts. That may sound strange to think about “getting” instead of giving during Christmas.

Yet during these next few weeks you’ll be receiving so much. You’ll be given gifts, well-wishes, greetings, party ivitations, hugs, smiles, cookies, decorations, etc. The list goes on and on – whether you have small children in your life or not. In fact, you’ll undoubtedly be getting these things whether you actively celebrate Christmas not!

How you receive a gift of any kind reflects how you feel about yourself and about your worth as a human being. Enjoying a gift, relishing in the thoughtfulness and love inherent in its presentation, lets you know that you find yourself deserving of such things. It also honors and exalts the giver; don’t you love it when someone truly enjoys one of your gifts?

So this Christmas don’t play “humble” when you’re given one of the multitude of gifts you’ll receive. Instead thank the abundant love and generosity of both the gift giver and the love of God in the greatest gift of all.