Gabriel's Horn, Pastor George Weaver, December, 2010

posted Feb 25, 2011, 12:32 PM by Lois Kerchner   [ updated Feb 25, 2011, 12:41 PM ]


Keeping Christmas 

Groucho Marx, the mustachioed comedian whom many of you will remember, once quipped, “Those are my principles.  If you don’t like them, I have others.”  Everyone has his or her principles.  And usually they are followed.  Well, mostly.

We also have opinions. There are opinions about politics, religion, professional sports, yard sales, how to observe the Holidays, health food, perhaps even fortune cookies and any number of other things.  But they’re only opinions. We could be and sometimes are wrong about some of those things.

And we have opinions about children.  I am going to be getting more experienced with young children and will perhaps be undergoing some opinion adjustment now that both our son and daughter have had newborns within just a little over a year.

I heard of a four-year-old boy who came screaming out of the bathroom to tell his mother that he had just dropped his toothbrush into the toilet.  He watched her fish it out and toss it into the garbage.

That is when something occurred to him; something about when a toothbrush ought to be discarded.  He ran over to the other bathroom and came out with his mother’s toothbrush.  Holding it up, he announced, “Mommy, we better throw this one out too then... it fell in the toilet a few days ago.”

That incident may confirm our opinion of four-year-olds, but it also points to something more than an opinion - namely, a principle.  In this case, the principle is about the importance of trying to do the right thing, even if you’re a few days late in doing it.  Martin Luther King, Jr. put it well:  “The time is always right to do what is right.”

Doing the right thing, even in little things, is never a little thing.  And that’s not just an opinion.  It’s a principle that works, not just some of the time, or most of the time, but all of the time.  And that includes Christmastime.  Can we get it right and truly practice “keeping Christmas well,” as Ebenezer Scrooge does in “A Christmas Carol”, by Charles Dickens?

Christmastime to me, in many ways, has always been a wonderful time.  But it can be a sad time as well.  Beginning over 50 years ago with Elvis Presley’s rendition, we’ve been hearing annually about a “Blue Christmas” sung throughout the Holiday season in department stores and over the radio waves from around Thanksgiving time up until Christmas day itself.

But I’m thinking I will always look forward to Christmas!  Now not everything about it perhaps, but certainly the celebration of the birth of a “Savior”, and spending time together with family and friends.  That’s a principle that continues to work for me.  

May the blessings of the season be with you and yours.

George Weaver, Pastor of Maturing Ministries