CommunityNewsPeopleRon Baker

Christmas Greetings – A Thing of the Past?

By Ron Baker

I live in a world that has and is changing. I live in a country that has and is changing. I live in a town that has and is changing. COVID is just the latest example that has accelerated our understanding of the changing world in which we live.

Our seasonal festivities, as they are now titled, would have been titled Christmas festivities a half century ago. I still remember the debate that Pierre Elliott Trudeau stirred up with his statement that we were multi-cultural. As I look back, here are some of the things that I have noticed in the past 50 years.

Tolerance is not about grace extended to others but about occupying power structures. For an individual culture to survive, the boundaries of right and wrong tend towards legalism and production of extremely insensitive rules. Understanding each other pushes the boundaries of civility to a breaking point as each culture seeks to dominate. The world is being torn apart with democratic governing bodies imploding.

And then I think back to Christmas greeting cards I read as a teen. Familiar phrases arose:

Peace on earth. Joy to the World. Love came down.

And I wonder. Are these greetings a thing of the past?

Which makes me all the more aware of the Christ child that was portrayed on Christmas greeting cards. As an adult the “baby” made a statement: by this shall everyone know that you follow me – if you love one another.

I find Christ followers tucked away in various vocations. I experience their love from unexpected sources. I see groups of people, Jesus people, who hug each other (properly social distanced), because they love each other. And there is joy in their presence. And they have a peace that passes understanding.

Christmas greetings are not a thing of the past for those who truly live Christmas today.

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