Monthly Archives: December 2011

The Birth of the Christ Child

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Christmas is my favorite holiday, as I’m sure it is with most people. It is rich with symbolism so what writer wouldn’t like that? There is wonderful music, lots of sneaking around (love doing that!) and presents. And then there is the chance to celebrate the birth of the King of kings, Jesus, who was and is the most precious gift of all.

Eleven years ago on Dec. 22nd, Harold’s dad passed away. We buried him on Christmas Eve. The fun part of Christmas was gone for our family, not only that year, but for a few years after. He was such an amazing man of God. The knowledge that he was in heaven was a comfort but we missed him.

This year on Dec. 21st, Harold’s wonderful Aunt Erma passed away unexpectedly after falling and hitting her head on a concrete step. Her funeral will be on the 27th. She was my mother-in-love’s sister and best friend. Erma never married so her family was her sister’s family. She will be buried in the plot next to my father-in-love. Once again Christmas joy is dampened for us.

Yesterday I was thinking about Aunt Erma and how grateful I am that she is in Heaven now, celebrating the real Christmas with the best choir possible. It came to me that with the promised birth of Jesus came the promise of His death. He took on the earthly form of a baby for one purpose: to become our substitution and die to free us from an eternal sentence of existence without God.

Birth guarantees death. We are all dying in slow or fast increments. It hovers in the background usually, waiting its appointed time. As Christians we are straining at the bonds of our flesh, wanting to be in eternity with our King, Jesus. Meanwhile we live, celebrating births and looking for comfort in the deaths of those we love.

Mary knew that Jesus would one day die. We all know our children will die, hopefully after we do. I wonder when exactly did Mary know how her son would die? When did she realize what a wonderful gift to humankind his death would bring? But before all of that Jesus was a baby, born in difficult circumstances to a mother who had trusted her womb to God.

So I trust Aunt Erma’s soul to God, knowing that the pain of her death is eased by the joy of knowing where she is for eternity, and where Harold’s dad is for eternity, and all those whom have believed in the birth and death of Christ Jesus which makes it all possible.

“Death where is thy sting, grave where is thy victory?”* indeed.

*I Corinthians 15:55 KJV

What Pro-Life Really Means

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I follow a blog written by the amazing writer, & former lawyer, Heather King. The name of the blog is Shirt of Flame. Her passion for Christ and trying to walk in His footsteps takes my breath away on a regular basis. She is blunt, compassionate, impatient, totally flawed and totally human. I admire her decision to try to live a holy life via simplicity, sacrifice and repentance.

Her post yesterday, “Why I Am For Life, Not Pro-Life” contains the best summation of what being for life from a Christian perspective really means. It also makes a great point on the politics of Facebook. Here is an excerpt. I encourage you to click over to her blog to read the rest of her essay and look around a while.

“To be for life means to be for reality, and reality is paradoxical, contradictory, awkward, unendingly messy, and unresolvable. To be for life means to realize that someone who is born to a junkie mother, is beaten every day of his life, sexually molested as a child, and farmed out to a series of foster families as a teenager may be in prison for another reason than that he has a “criminal mind.” To be for life means to believe that human beings are capable of transformation. To be for life implies a capacity and willingness, no matter how difficult or how much of a stretch, to put ourselves in the shoes of another. To be for life is to refrain, insofar as possible, from every kind of violence: physical, emotional, psychological, and I say this because I am (obviously) so prone to violence myself. Because to destroy your own child is a special, and perhaps the most horrific form, of violence imaginable.

To be for life means to stand your ground while also exercising delicacy, courtesy, and restraint of tongue and pen. It means to be passionately for our work and passionately against imposing our work on others. It means to refrain from trumpeting our own courage in favor of admiring the courage of the next person.  It means to be for the unborn baby and for the baby who grows up to be an alcoholic, love-starved, frightened, extremely misguided adult and has an abortion, or two, or three before at last crawling toward the light (or not)—because you never know the wounds from which another suffers. You never know the sins and sorrows for which another is doing life-long penance. You never know the odds against which another is working.”

I am so thankful that she has put into words things I have thought but not been able to put into anything coherent. So like I said, grab a cuppa and head over to Shirt of Flame. Let me know what you think. I’m betting that no matter your political or religious bent, you will learn something.