I've heard it before, said by people whom I respect but must "agree to disagree" about the Christmas season. Friends who have chosen not to celebrate Christmas or decorate or do anything special because after all... it is most likely not the date of His birth, trees and lights and "insert object" are pagan symbols, etc., and one must be spiritual about these things, you know.
To me and mine, there is no better way in the universe to glorify our Lord then to sparkle.
When the Christmas tree (which by the way, we do not hold hands, surround the tree, and worship) is decorated and all nicely lit in these darkest days of the year... we are reminded of the Light of His coming... and we worship Him.
When candles are lit, glowing softly while cooking or cleaning or reading or enjoying a cup of tea at the end of a long and dark day... we worship Him.
When we hear His name glorified in music all around us we go about our day cooking and baking and shopping and driving and living our life... we worship Him.
We knead the bread dough, mix cookies, melt chocolate, bake pies, roast turkeys or ham or geese, assemble the side dishes served only at Christmas, call Mom to question again how she makes gravy, contact Grandma to ask for a forgotten recipe, and set the table with the finest of china... we worship Him.
We search all year for special gifts which tell another that we know their hearts and their desires and the bent in which God has made them and show heartfelt excitement as we open their gifts made with paper and glue, and ... we worship Him.
Even in homes and nations and places where He is not honored as Lord and coming King, they know this Day is different as across the world all of His people are thinking of that manger in Bethlehem... and we worship Him.
For all there are those who want to silence the reason for the Day, we think of Him as the music and the traditions and the movies and stories and the radio and the television and the stores and Main Street all come together to tell us there is something special about this time of year and whether they know it or not... it is Him.
It seems at times that the forest outside my house, with trees which are dark sculptures in the night... that very forest in its' silence and the moonlight on the snow and the animals slumbering where they cannot be seen... silently worship Him and await that time He makes all things new again.
The creche which is outlawed in the public square sits beside our doors or on our mantels or on a table where it can be seen and felt and if made of the proper materials... touched by little hands... and admired from a distance if delicately assembled... and we worship Him.
And because of His first Advent and anticipating His second... we sparkle in the darkness of a fallen world... this which C. S. Lewis calls The Silent Planet. I love sparkle...
One Solitary Life
He was born in an obscure village, the son of a peasant woman.
He grew up in another village, where he worked in a carpenter's shop until he was thirty. Then for three years he became a wandering preacher.
He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family or owned a house. He didn't go to college. He never visited a big city. He never travelled two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He did none of those things one usually associates with greatness.
He had no credentials but himself.
He was only thirty-three when the tide of public opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. He was turned over to his enemies and went through a mockery of a trial. He was executed by the state.
While he was dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing, the only property he had on earth. When he was dead he was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.
Twenty centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race and the leader of mankind's progress.
All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as that One Solitary Life.
Dr. James Allen Francis, presumed author
Picture: Family Circle, artist Lee Stroncek