cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
There seems to be real assurance of that absolutely necessary “White Christmas” for 2013 as I look out my office window and put this blog together. I, like many, tend to become more reflective at this time of year. I look back on the regrets I’ve left in my wake and the particular joys I’ve experienced. Since I am a believer in Jesus Christ, I welcome this special time in our church year as we celebrate the birth of our Savior; and I think back to participation in the Messiah Chorus again this year even as we regret that we were ‘snowed out’ from the second presentation that would’ve been held at St. Gabriel’s. That is such a very special piece for both the presenters as well as, we hope, for the receivers.
I reflect on the conflict within our country, and I reflect on the conflict besetting many all across the globe, some of which is aimed particularly at Christians by those of a faith that condones, even encourages, such attacks and killings of the so-called 'unbelievers' .
I note, too, that Gallup’s recent poll reflects erosion in the percentage of people in this country who believe in Christ, that a time when faith is my most cherished possession. I reflect on this passage from the book of Hebrews, Chapter 11, and Verse 1: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” That somehow helps me as I think of brothers and sisters here on this earth who do not believe in Christ. I remember those times when I questioned my own faith and can understand how that happens. I pray that the gift of faith in Christ might be one which those yet unsure might receive and cherish as I have been so blessed. That is truly the most special gift one can experience.
Our secular world makes the profession of one’s faith something from which many shy. To many, my professions of faith will simply affirm their belief that I have no ability to reason, that I am victim of believing in a myth. I pray for those who have that thought. My first exposure to a true atheist occurred during basic training in the Army. I shared my last name with this fellow and think of him occasionally and wonder where he is today. We had some very deep conversations. I know and have known those whom I would categorize as agnostics. The vast number of people I encounter are, however, undefined so far as faith since we have not taken the time to have such discussions. I am guilty of not initiating those discussions as I should, even with those to whom I feel close. That has to be changed and maybe this blog is the first step in that direction.
My gift to all this Christmas season would be the knowledge of the true Christ and the inner peace that comes as we accept Him as our Savior and as we are given that “faith of being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”.
May you have a joyous Christmas!