A Poem for Christmas Eve
Candlelit church services with wiggly children;
Warmth around a fireplace.
Last minute creating and cooking, shopping and wrapping;
Poignant memories of departed loved ones.
Meals served to thousands without a home;
Grace encounters as Christ comes clothed with gratitude.
The kettle bells ring one more day;
Families brave the weather to visit friends in need.
Divine love comes wrapped in swaddling clothes;
A Virgin Mother nurses her Creator and Redeemer.
Longings for peace arise in hearts;
The Prince of Peace comes near.
A Merry Christmas to all!
Our world is drowning in the quicksand of polemics, negativity and perverted reasoning. Sometimes I wonder if I am in a bad dream or B-grade movie where the universe is sideways. Everything is inverted. Sound fiscal policies mean starving children. Calling for good work ethics is “code” for racism. Supporting traditional marriage is intolerance. Affirming limited government and sound immigration is right wing xenophobia. Criticizing Palestinian Holocaust deniers is apertheid and condemning Muslim terrorism is Islamophobia.
It is time for unapologetic affirmations of indisputable truths. Rather than labeling and libeling those that disagree with me, I choose affirmation over attack, life over death and faith over fear. Here are some affirmations that I pray will guide all people of conscience:
- Life is precious and sacred, from conception to coronation. Whether a boy or girl, healthy or infirm, challenged or gifted, all humans deserve a warm welcome, a kind farewell, and love in between. It is a baby inside the mother, not a piece of tissue.
- Marriage is one man and one woman discovering depths of intimacy, heights of mutual purpose, experiences of sorrow and joy, and for many, the profound stewardship of raising the next generation.
- Freedom of conscience and religion is the first freedom and foundational to all others. This does not make evangelism coercion or the truth claims of religion unimportant. It means living peaceably with our deepest differences and sharing convictions without fear.
- Hospitality for all legal immigrants and secure borders are symbiotic and critical for national cohesion and diversity.
- Israel is a moral and political good for the world. She is a beacon of sanity in a geography rife with political and religious turmoil.
- Spending less than we take in and fostering economic productivity within the rule of law and an ethos of generosity will help the most people flourish.
- Wealth can be created without destroying the environment. We do not have one pie for seven billion people – we can bake more pies!
- It is the height of arrogance and overweening will-to-power to manipulate the populace with fear about global climate. Most of Rachael Carson’s and Paul Ehrlich’s predictions were (and are) wrong. Current climate “science” must be separated from globalist economics and politics.
- Our choices can add to the beauty around us, from works of art to words of wisdom, from life-saving medicines to laughter that heals the heart.
- The colors and clothes, accents and dialects, food and music of our many cultures is cause for celebration as we discover our common humanity and diverse tastes.
- Disagreeing with another person’s choices is not judging their soul nor being intolerant. My neighbor is made in God’s image and worthy of love and respect. Where we differ, we may argue passionately…then go to a PTA meeting and help our schools together.
St. Francis of Assisi rebuilt a church with his bare hands, rejoiced in his poverty, gained Papal approval, evangelized Muslims and could hear the songs of the trees and whispers in the wind. I do not share his monastic vocation, but I long to share his joy-filled humility and love for God and others.
Jesus of Nazareth healed the sick, delivered the oppressed, forgave sinners and reconciled enemies. He also pricked the consciences of the comfortable, condemned the abuse of the powerful and refused to compromise on matters of morality. All progressives need to heed his words of judgment and all conservatives must awaken to his compassion.
Today I choose affirmation because in the Incarnation, humble and sinless life, crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, I discover my identity and worth, my destiny and discipline, and the affirmations and affections that shape abundant life now and forever.