Reflections At Christmas

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It is the time of year for looking back and looking ahead. What a year it has been! Early in the year, I was confronted with the ravages of aging- a ruptured Achilles tendon while playing basketball against a 15 year old. Yes, there was the physical pain, but how much greater the blow to my ego!

As the year rolled on, what started as minor signs of dementia in my mother, burst into a runaway devastation of her mind and some of the most challenging moments in the lives of her children as we struggled to care for her and plan for her future.

But then, there was not the curse of the fall in late November, but the blessing of life as our grandchild Eliza Grace came onto the scene. As I gazed down upon her, the grace and creative power of an awesome God was apparent.

Cherokee Christian School had another year of changes. New students and employees, the moving on of graduates and others, and a continued evolution of the services we provided within the constraints of a God honoring mission.

A national election came into view and the results were surprising to all. For the first time in many years, the Christian community was wondering aloud if God might be bringing a sea of change. Would it be possible that the country might be moved towards values that would honor God? For our school, could we say the word, “vouchers?” A great deal seemed possible.

 But, Solomon might have a few words to say on the matter. In the book of Ecclesiastes, he shared a life of pursuing every conceivable passion and pleasure with one observation: in the end, all of our earthy possessions and passions will come to nothing at all. The man of great riches will have his wealth disbursed and the one of incredible fame will eventually be forgotten. Changes, no matter how vast or how deep, will change again or even be changed back to where they once were.

 That leads me to think aloud about the things that I worry about and the things that make me feel confident or secure. Probably you could sum those things up by simply saying, “possessions.” Here, Solomon’s father has a word for us out of Psalm 20: “some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”

 Yes, the Word of God corrects me and centers me again on how to think rightly. No matter what happens in the world next year, it is temporary. No matter what my possessions are or how much of it I have, it is fleeting. I cannot trust in those things. My trust must be in the One who is everlasting, gracious, and trustworthy.

 My worries, future, and all I own are wrapped in a baby- a baby who was wrapped in swaddling cloths 2,000 years ago. He came to save us from our sins and He has the power to give everlasting life and a joy that is beyond comprehension.

Merry Christmas!