Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Christmas Glories

I've been going through my dad's old files lately. It's hard to believe that it's been nearly a year since his passing. I ran across this article of his, which was published in the December 1965 edition of "The Stetho Scoop", newsletter for Mesa Lutheran Hospital (now closed). I was touched by the elegance of my father's words, and was also amazed at how well these sentiments still translate to our world today. In 1965 the world was war torn and sin torn and rife with every form of hatred and violence... political, ethnic, and religious. Fast forward to 2015 and nothing much has changed, the same strife, just different names and entities. But this war torn, sin torn, fallen world will one day be altogether changed. It will be wiped clean, and made new.

Christmas reminds us that one thing will never change. God doesn't change. His faithfulness is changeless. His Glory is everlasting. Our hope is real and our reward is sure. The victory is already won. Praise God for the coming of His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.

I wonder what the "Christmas Glories" look like in heaven, something more than tinsel and glitter and five watt bulbs, I'll bet. Merry Christmas dad.

An old colored gentleman who shines shoes remarked the other day that the workmen around the shopping center were putting up the Christmas "glories." It was a striking word to use for the tinsel and the glitter of the yuletide decorations, reflecting the sensitivity and perception of his race. It is fascinating in a country so surfeited with the application of cardboard and color as is ours that the use of tinfoil and five watt lamps can with justice be associated with the word glory. But it is so! There is a halo of glory surrounding Christmas that illumines even little pine trees and dime-store decorations.
Several times this fall the urge has come to send Christmas cards to treasured non-Christian friends in far-away lands. It is acutely painful to realize that they would appreciate the greeting, but they could not share the glory. Over-commercialized though it may be, the glory of Christmas shines in the eyes of little children and the hearts of the aged. It is reflected from Bethlehem's star. It comes from the Christ-child in His manger-crib. it is mediated by the Spirit of God.
Half the world will fear the other half this Christmas night. They have no Christmas glories. They have dipped the stars in blood.
But Bethlehem's star is beyond their reach, and they cannot jam the angels' song: "Glory to God in the highest, and peace and good will to men." Christmas will always have its glories. They live in the hearts of men. They come from the heart of God.
                                                                                                                 Joe C. Smith