CHRISTMAS


Much has been made this year, particularly in the “mainstream media,” of the fact that the term Christmas is…well… too politically incorrect (even un-Constitutional in some quarters such as those of the ACLU) to be abided in public places…ANY public places, not just the Town Square. In this corner’s town, Lexington, Ky., the monopolistic newspaper, the Lexington Herald-Leader (property of sacrosanct Knight-Ridder…you know, the outfit that’s up for sale for lack of profits) decided to scandalize central-Kentucky’s largest church (no kidding – front-page-above-the-fold stuff and editorial-page guru-ing by the truly enlightened) because the church, which has a global ministry and offered one service on Christmas Eve-Eve and three services on Christmas Eve, would not be having services on Christmas day, never mind that the last service on Christmas Eve (after sundown) would technically be on Christmas day. The editors apparently aren’t too swift when it comes to such technicalities, but their motive was unmistakable, i.e., accuse the church of trivializing its own observance. Makes no sense? Of course not, but it makes for great copy.

The purpose of the nationwide pooh-poohing by mostly “liberals” (euphemism for “idiots?”…or just people with little to do?) of Christmas has to do with the insensitive trauma that mention of Jesus Christ is said to inflict upon the small minority of people in the country who are supposed somehow to be offended and therefore, ipso facto, arbiters of what may and may not be in the public’s eye, never mind that the vast majority that understands the meaning of the day bears no ill will toward anyone.

Okay…Christmas is too much commercialized, but it’s still Christmas and has great meaning for the majority of Americans. A stroll along a North Carolina beach a few years ago resulted in a few verses that pointed – at least hopefully – to the meaning of Christmas, namely, the introduction into the world of the Savior, Christ the Lord, who would become the reconciler of God to mankind through the redemptive process of his ministry and sacrifice – the sacrifice of the very son of God – and the Resurrection, victory forever over death! Praise be to the Christ-child!

HOLDEN BEACH

He walked the shore, the sandy shore,
The breakers crashing with a roar,
And wondered as he searched the sea
Why Heaven, hell, or earth must be.
And as he waded through the surf,
His toes engaging miry turf,
He wondered still of Heaven, hell,
And if, indeed, they did indwell
The cosmic scene ordained by God -
Or, if, indeed, there was a God.
He mused aloud, “The earth I see,
Its plants, its creatures, soil and sea,
But even these give no clear sign
That God exists - His form define.”
And then he thought, “But, what of me?
I can control some things I see,
Yet, since I cannot these create,
I must defer to higher state.
And since that higher state at will
Can create things...and life instill,
That higher state is God, of course -
Of all the universe, the force.
But Heaven, hell, or end of time,
To these three things, no reason, rhyme,
Since none of these is known to me,
Since none of these is seen to be,
Since none of these is smelled or heard,
Since each of these seems quite absurd.”

But, as he walked, he spied a bird
Upon the sand…no longer heard.
And later saw a fish long dead
Where it had washed from clear sea-bed.
He then remarked, “Yes, all things die,
The creature, vine, the leaf, and I.
Each has beginning…certainly -
Each has an ending…plain to see.”
He ambled farther down the beach
On toward the end he soon would reach
And asked himself, “Do fish know love,
Or birds feel fear of clouds above?
Do trees know pity, leaves know care,
Or creatures have the grace to share?
Did the beginner have a plan
For merely woman, merely man,
Were all things else designed to be
Sustainer of humanity?”

At beach’s end, he turned around
And started back on solid ground
And pondered, “Since all things must die,
There must not be a reason why
The death of me is different
From any death that God has meant.”
But, then he pondered yet some more,
Not death this time, not as before;
No, this time life was his concern
As he endeavored to discern
If his life might be different
From other lives that God has meant.
He looked at flora, fauna, too,
And deemed that neither one could do
The things that could be done by him -
Indeed, existed just for him.

“If this be true,” he then inferred,
“That creatures all...the fish, the bird,
Exist for succor of mankind,
Then, I am special in God’s mind.”
With that in mind, he then took note
Of distant, distant, sea-borne boat,
And saw the mast by gaff-beam crossed
As it made way, though tempest-tossed,
And then recalled what sailors know,
That cross thus made, though gale winds blow,
Supports the sturdy sail required
To bring the crew to berth desired,
Where, though the sail be cast aside,
Once shore is made...and warm fireside,
Its work has been completely done,
With boat and crew in harbor won.

He walked the shore, the sandy shore,
The breakers crashing with a roar,
Remembered gaff-beam, mast, and sail -
The cross and cloth that would not fail.
He pondered all that God conceived -
The earth, the creatures, seas that heaved,
Beginnings, endings, Heaven, hell -
In vain, of course, he knew quite well…

He could not know Creator’s mind,
Few answers could he hope to find,
But sensed that only for mankind
Were gaff-beam, mast, and sail designed.