It’s time for Christmas
At Christmas time we give gifts to people we love and to people we do not know.
At Christmas time we stop trying to get even with people who have hurt us and instead we focus on showing kindness, even to people who do not deserve it.
At Christmas time we are generous to people just because they need it and maybe even if they do not, and we feel healthier and happier.
At Christmas time we celebrate excitement in the eyes of children and find quietness in our hearts from it.
At Christmas time we see hope dealers all around and dope dealers fade from view.
At Christmas time we drown out the shouts of war and the explosions of violence with joyful songs for the Prince of Peace.
O people, the Lord has already told you what is good,
and this is what he requires:
To do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
To do what is right, even when others do what is wrong.
To love mercy even when others demand revenge.
To walk humbly with your God, even when others proudly claim supremacy.
But what about the injustice, the physical pain, the wounds of the soul, the poverty, the hunger of the belly, the broken bodies, broken hearts, broken promises, broken spirits?
And what about people who think Christmas is just a tawdry and temporary distraction from the terrible reality that we all together cause and all together must suffer?
The choice is to each person and to each community:
Retribution or reconciliation. Coercion or collaboration. Killing or kindness.
Massacre or mercy. Force or forgiveness. Hatred or healing. Folly or faith.
The gods of war or the Prince of Peace.
In our streets, our politics, our churches, our systems, our homes and our hearts . . .
It’s time for a new season.
It’s time for Christmas.
Richard Kriegbaum is president of Fresno Pacific University.
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