Christmas Eve 2020
Luke 21 : 25-36 King James Version
25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars ; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity ; the sea and the waves roaring ;
26 Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth : for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads ; for your redemption draweth nigh."
In my church we hear this Gospel reading each Sunday in Advent - the beginning and first festival of the Christian year, that culminates in Christmas. We may hear it as many as five Sundays, a bell repeatedly tolling - images of turbulence, yet a mood also of expectation and hope.
The reading continues :
29 And he spake to them a parable ; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees ;
30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.
31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.
32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.
33 Heaven and earth shall pass away : but my words shall not pass away.
34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.
35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man."
This year 2020 has manifested more than its share of fear, doubt and hatred - the "three beasts of the abyss" that always lurk near us as human beings, tempting us to our darkest potentials, misleading us, sometimes tragically, from our best ones. It has been a year of threats and dire predictions, of losses, disruption and change pressed on us largely against our will. These things have "befallen" Roswitha and me too, and while we've tried to meet them directly and honestly as we could, "the spirit of Christmas" has not come easily this year. At low points, I've had to just let myself feel pain, accept it and turn my whole attention to whatever Goodness, Beauty and Truth there might be in or around me ; and trust that it will be enough.
Tonight, though, the spirit of Christmas found us ! Friends from our travels flew in, and we had a truly exquisite meal - for me, perhaps the best "turkey with all the fixings" I've ever experienced ! The conversation was earnest and uplifting, and behind us a saxophonist played Christmas songs and others so soulfully, it more than once brought tears to my eyes.
When we finally emerged to the street, the moon and stars were shining brightly ; Christmas lights shone from windows ; couples and families strolled by with many warm greetings of "Feliz Navidad" ; and suddenly, feliz in my heart it was. As we walked to our car, I could only say "Friends - now it's Christmas Eve !"
When we arrived home and I checked the computer, the first thing I came upon was this :
"The forms that our consciousness takes from our original thought or intent can become unrecognizable in life's troubles and obstructions but can end up looking all the more beautiful when observed with the eye of an artist."
- Danica Wolkiser
With this image :
And the further comment :
"What you see here is something rare that's being described as what happens when a rainbow falls apart. It’s actually a rainbow being diffused by scattered raindrops which reflect off the clouds behind it. If the clouds were gone it would just be a regular rainbow."
- Howard Curtis
To all of this, I could only say "yes - yes !"
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Jeff Smith RN, born 1950. A registered nurse since 1984 - but holistic in my outlook to health since probably around 1968. Living Waters Wellness considers not just the health of the physical body, but our soul and spirit, our social forms, our environment - and as a matter of fact, our whole earth. It's a new website, and a work in progress - but by all means, have a look around !