(alternate title which I almost used: "I WONDER IF THIS YEAR THEY'LL BEGIN TO UNDERSTAND.")
“...for the labourer is worthy of his hire...” (Luke 10:7)
The Associated Press has reported that an impatient crowd of shoppers STAMPEDED earlier today, knocking down a door and KILLING a Wal Mart worker in Nassau, New York. See the Associated Press article, “Wal Mart Worker Dies After Shoppers Knock Him Down”, at
Perhaps we’d truly be safer in Iraq or Afghanistan over the next few weeks than at an American shopping center!
I don’t know how else to say it: this story DISGUSTS, angers, and saddens me.
According to the A.P. article, “Kimberly Cribbs, who witnessed the stampede, said shoppers were acting like ‘savages’.”
I have quite a love/hate thing going about the Christmas holiday. This is the kind of thing that can sometimes have me saying, “I hate Christmas”. It does get my wife and family upset. But part of me really does hate it.
Oh, there IS a great part of Christmas. I happen to LOVE the Christmas carols, and I love singing Christmas carols. This year, I’ll once again be joining my friend the Rev. Mindi Welton-Mitchell of First Baptist Church in Framingham and her group of carolers at the train station on Wed. Dec. 10 and Wed. Dec. 17 in the late afternoon. It’s so COOL to sing these beautiful songs of Jesus’ birth to commuters as they get off the trains. Well, actually, it’s COLD! Usually, it takes me at least an hour to thaw out after the caroling, but the experience is well worth it. I will also admit to loving Christmas candy and appreciating a good Christmas dinner. (No wonder I’m 40 pounds overweight!) I also love to see “tiny tots” get Christmas presents.
My mother used to say that Christmas PRESENTS should only be for CHILDREN...say 14 and younger. I could drink to that! (Alcohol free carbonated sparkling cider, that is!) Which brings me to another BAD part of Christmas: the drinking. My late brother had a serious drinking problem. Christmas and New Year’s meant some “hairy” experiences because of that. Each year thousands of (mainly) women are victims of domestic violence at Christmas time. It was about fifteen years ago that a prominent Boston radio personality came home from his radio station’s holiday party and beat up his wife. That story hit the press, and he was fired shortly thereafter.
I like the, “Peace on Earth, good will toward men,” stuff. I will admit to having a real soft spot for the children’s classic, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”. I smile when “Holly Jolly Christmas” comes on the radio. But the chaos at the malls??!! My Dad used to NOT do Christmas shopping. Each year, he’d pass out envelopes with cash inside. I know that may seem kind of cold, but two years ago, I opted to do that. I did no shopping that year. I don’t know how much cash I’ll have this year. Like a lot of you, it doesn’t look like it will be all that much, but I’m really seriously thinking of just doing the pass out cash in envelopes thing.
Many years ago when I was on staff at a very large church, in lieu of sending Christmas cards to each other, we had a huge custom made Christmas card in the lobby that we all signed. Each year, the giant Christmas card was produced by graphic artist Mary Agrusa. My favorite was an exceptionally beautiful card she did, and the caption stated, “I wonder if this year they’ll begin to understand.”
My personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ...my Bible...my prayer life...the realization that “there’s a heaven to gain and a hell to shun”...the realization that Jesus came to “seek and to save that which was lost”. THIS is the kind of stuff that blesses me. This is sacred to me. As far as a bunch of “savages” smashing a door down at a Wal Mart and killing a worker, well, that makes me want to just not celebrate Christmas at all.
Yeah, Mary Agrusa (and she’s alive and well and living in Georgia), I wonder if THIS year they’ll begin to understand. They, no WE need to. I know the Catholic churches tend to put up outdated looking signs which say, “Keep Christ in Christmas”. I think anytime I see one this year, I’ll applaud. And, I think I’ll try to be a little more generous at the Salvation Army kettles, too.
He'll Keep The Light On For You
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