I remember going to my grandparents' house the day after Christmas. I especially looked forward to my grandma's cooking. Their dining room would be aglow with a special spirit: candles in the window, greenery adorned the chandelier, the table was covered with a cranberry-red tablecloth, Christmas napkins proclaimed, "Peace on earth, goodwill toward men," and a poinsettia graced the center of the table.
From the kitchen arose the aroma of roast turkey and dressing, candied sweet potatoes, caramel carrots and fresh bread. Hmmm. There was also hot coffee or spiced tea to drink. I thought I was in heaven. As our families gathered around the festive table, Grandma read the Christmas Story, Grandpa asked the blessing, and we all feasted!
CHRISTMAS IS A FESTIVE SEASON -- In the depths of darkness and despair, we stand in the glow of that Light that the forces of evil have never been able to extinguish. In times of fear and frustration. We hear once more the angel's assurance, "I bring you good news that will cause you to shout for joy and to dance in the streets. For the Savior of us all is now among us and stands beside us through all of life's struggles. So celebrate and shout for joy!"
CHRISTMAS IS A TIME FOR FEASTING -- How tragic that millions of people die from lack of food; children suffer from malnutrition. In the beginning, God created a world in which every individual produced more than enough for the good of all. Hunger and starvation were unknown. Our selfishness, greed and hatred have divided our world into the "haves" and the "have-nots." Christmas is the time to decorate our lives with the spirit of sharing, divide our blessings to feed the hungry, to work to eliminate the selfishness and greed that divides our world along lines of "feast" or "famine." Christmas reminds us that one day, God will invite both the "haves" and the "have-nots" to the grandest feast of all in His home.
AS WE DECORATE -- the dining room and the kitchen of our homes, so let us decorate these "rooms" in our daily lives with the candle-glow of Godly love, the greenery of gentleness and kindness, and the centerpiece of faith. Let the aroma of forgiveness, graciousness and compassion fill our lives to overflowing. So that these fragrances will flow out from us to enrich the lives of others and change the whole world for the good!
Don Kuehle is a retired United Methodist minister who lives in Jackson. Opinions expressed are those of the author.Religion on 12/13/2018
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