Perhaps we need a Grinch or two to bring home the truth of Christmas. If so, we are lucky, for they are not in short supply.
Whether one favors Fox News or MSNBC, current events and national politics present an image of a country spiraling out of control. Fools are all about and the nation seems bordering on chaos.
And yet, it is Christmastime. In Southwest Colorado that means evidence of God’s love is everywhere. It is in our windshields and our rearview mirrors. We see it in our fields and forests, in our mountains and streams, in our blue sky and starry nights.
We see it, too, in friends and neighbors. At work, in schools, in stores, even in traffic and amid the bustle of last-minute shopping there is a welcoming spirit that argues against the nastiness of national politics.
That does not mean bad things are not happening. They are. And some of the strangest are occurring among those who are supposed to know better.
The United States has a two-party system. But one party has been hypnotized by a cruel and delusional narcissist. And the other finds itself stymied by a single individual, a senator from an impoverished state who is reported to drive a Maserati and who apparently sees it as his duty to protect the wealthy from his constituents.
That is the reality. But it cannot be the truth. Certainly, it is not the truth of Christmas.
The truth of the season is in a child’s happy smile and in the joy reflected in his grandmother’s eyes. It is in family and friends getting together, in person, at long distance or just in spirit.
Gatherings are frequently accompanied by Christmas dinner. That is often thought of as a feast with roast beef, ham or turkey, but it could just as well be peanut butter and jelly. For while the holiday typically includes shopping, spending and gift-giving, Christmas is not about stuff.
It has often been said that it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. That is especially true at Christmas, for candles can also express the truth of the season.
So, light a candle. Better yet, light four. In tradition, three have been purple or blue, with the fourth pink, and the colors had meaning. But as often as not these days all four are red. Called Advent Candles, they are lit on the four Sundays leading up to Christmas.
The first signifies hope. The second peace. The third stands for joy and the fourth is for love.
Hope, peace, joy and love – any one of which better explains what really matters than much of today’s news. Together they express the true meaning of the season.
If your faith permits, there can be a fifth candle as well. Make it white. Called the Christ Candle, it completes the picture and reminds us of whose birthday we are celebrating.
With that, have faith. More to the point, have a Merry Christmas!