Friday, December 24, 2010

Another Christmas

So it's Christmas again . . . always a bittersweet time of year for me.

I bend my knee in wonder at Christ's condescension in coming to us as one of us, laying down His Godhead and assuming our human frailty, trading the crown of eternal glory for one of thorns . . . and yet, I feel alienated from, and by, the trappings of the season.

I described on this blog, two years ago, the night Christmas became real for me. Ever since that night, the traditions of the season have meant little or nothing to me beside that memory. Tonight, I remember my friends and colleagues who laid down their lives to help the victims of violence in South Africa. Twenty-seven died during those dark times. Five have died in the years since then. (I've mentioned the tragedy of one of them here as well.) I remember them, and mourn them . . . all of them better human beings than I'll ever be. Christmas, for me, is their time. Somehow, I don't think the Lord minds that. I think He understands. He was there that night in the ruined factory. For those who were there, he'll always be part of that night, both in our memories and in our lives. It changed us, forever.

Dear friends and readers, may this Christmas be for you, too, a time of change, when the Son of God moves in your heart and mind and soul to bring you new life, and new hope.

God bless you all.



JPG said...

A fine story, Peter, well worth the retelling.

Here's wishing you and yours a joyous Christmas and a happy and prosperous new year.

Johnny & Holly

Anonymous said...

I knew you had served, but I never knew you Served.

It's humbling to read about people who really do Understand Things, as I fumble around my doubts and lack of skills.

Thank you for sharing this, and for all that you write. Merry Christmas, Peter.

Anonymous said...

A blessed and Merry Christmas to all! I've been offering up special prayers for the persecuted Church, wherever it is, this year. It tends to help keep things in perspective.

STxRynn said...

I posted a link to your Christmas Carol on my facebook page. I read it last year. It helped/helps keep me focused on what is REALLY important about Christmas.

May God richly bless you this year. Take care....

STxRynn said...

We sang Silent Night today in church. I closed my eyes like I always do, and I saw hundreds of Africans singing in the dim light in a burned out factory.

I've never choked up on a Christmas hymn before. I read the account to my wife Saturday night, and could hardly finish. We both had tears on our cheeks after that.

Thank you very much for putting that account on your blog. I really needed it this year, especially.

Good night, and God's blessings on you.