The Year that Was: Something to Remember …


Can you see the important message from 2016?




Sabre-rattling from North Korea.

Sabre-rattling between China and Japan.

Donald Trump.

The deaths of David Bowie, Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.


Hottest year on record.

On a worldwide scale, one could say that 2016 was a world-class bummer of a year. Closer to home, two friends of mine lost spouses, another had a mastectomy, a dear friend who had been battling the effects of drug addiction (don’t let anyone ever tell you that “harm reduction” is an acceptable solution!) died suddenly, as did the son of some close friends of ours at church; people lost jobs, there was a palpable sense of despair among some friends and colleagues over the US Election, and “my little cat friend”, who had been with me for 12 years, had to be put down.

On the other hand, I was reconciled with my children after a dozen years’ estrangement and also was reunited with my two best friends from university, whom I hadn’t seen in nearly 40 years. A dear sister who had been praying for a husband finally met and married a good guy. Another friend took in a Syrian refugee — a 20-ish Muslim man who continues to overcome homesickness, culture shock and being separated from his father, who’s too ill to travel and has to stay in Lebanon — and in so doing, has managed to disprove any preconceived notions one might have about young Muslim immigrants.

Another sister in Christ who lost her husband in 2014 took a completely new direction in her life and moved to a small community to rediscover herself and start over.

Two good friends whom I had met on the Downtown East Side continued moving forward as walking testimonies to Jesus Christ’s power to turn lives around (one of them was granted parental custody of his grand-daughters).

So just as you can easily write off 2016 as a lousy year, it doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to see that there were a lot of good things about the past twelve months.

That’s because the best thing of all about 2016 is that there have been consistent reminders that God is still here, even as humankind seems bent on destroying itself. Look back at the first posting I wrote for this blog, about the bumper crop of fruit and vegetables and flowers — the unremitting beauty all around us — and note that those are the signs of God’s omnipresence. As we let Him become more and more a part of our daily lives, He will, through us, become part of the lives of others.

The New Year will be what we make it — not what “the world” dictates it to be, because the power of the Holy Spirit is greater than anything else.

You are of God, little children, and have overcome [the spirits of the antichrist], because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

— 1 John 4:4

Here are three words to keep close to your heart:





Context: another good reason to read for yourself

Today’s news includes an interesting item, that Franklin Graham has announced he’s taking on a vegan diet as of New Year’s Day in order to try to lose some weight. The meat and dairy products he’s been putting away, he says, have made him heavier than he’d like.

In the course of the article, you’ll note that Rev. Graham cites Daniel’s experience in Babylon, when he, Mishael, Hananiah and Azariah (also called Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego) decided to go on a similar diet.

So Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink, then let our appearance be examined before you, and the appearance of the young men who eat the portion of the king’s delicacies; and as you see fit, so deal with your servants.”

… And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies.

— Daniel 1:11-13, 15

Now, the reportage makes it sound like Rev. Graham was being flippant in citing Daniel, however, it could also be that Rev. Graham’s real motivation in citing Daniel was to remind us that God can provide for us better than anyone in the world, and that as he takes on this diet, God will “fill in the blanks” with his nutritional needs and help him overcome his desires.

I don’t think for a minute that Rev. Graham is suggesting that Daniel and the others went on the all-veggies-and-water diet so they could be beach-ready by summer. They did it so that they would not accept luxuries from King Nebuchadnezzar and to demonstrate that God was their provider in all things (Daniel 1:8). It’s like Abram (Abraham), telling the King of Sodom, “I will take nothing, from a thread to a sandal strap, that is yours, that you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich’ ….” (Genesis 14:23).

I told you in October about a woman I heard describe how a nun was explaining that her decision to become a vegan was based in Scripture. I asked what part of Scripture supported that and the woman said, at first, “the Beatitudes”. But when pressed on which Beatitude(s) that would be, she didn’t have an answer.

It’s vital to keep Scripture in context. Some could leap on this and claim that the Bible mandates a vegan diet. Of course, if it did, there wouldn’t be pages and pages of commandments about “clean” and “unclean” animals. It would simply say, “don’t eat animals”.

That’s yet another reason why it’s so important to read the Bible for yourself, so that one person’s interpretation doesn’t necessarily become your own. That’s how cults begin, and one of the functions of the Bible is to give us the BS detector we need to prevent us from getting sucked-in. I’ve said often that if we don’t have that and fall in with a charismatic person who seems to be speaking from the Lord, before we know it, we’re handing over our wives, sisters and daughters to him and drinking Kool-Aid in Guyana.

Praise God that He has given us His word so we can read it for ourselves and not rely on someone else’s interpretation. Keith Moore (Moore Life Ministries) has a “three verse rule”: take the Scripture citation, back up at least three verses and then go three verses or more beyond it to get your own interpretation.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

— 1 John 4:1

I’m not calling Franklin Graham a false prophet: I’m saying we have the responsibility — and the ability — to decide for ourselves what’s true and what isn’t. We ignore that responsibility at our peril.

One more thing: after ten days of pulse and water, Daniel, Mishael, Hananiah and Azariah “appeared … fatter in flesh”. Hmm …

A Santa Solution?

Last week, I wrote about some of the symbols of Christmas — like Santa Claus and Christmas trees — and how they are part of God’s way of reaching out to people who hadn’t heard about Jesus. But when it comes to Santa, there is still the possibility that promoting the myth about a fat guy coming down the chimney to deliver presents could lead to a child not trusting his or her parents when the truth finally comes out.

Since then, this interesting perspective was sent in:


When I was little, my parents were faced with that age-old problem of figuring out how to break it to my sister and I that there is no Santa Claus. Then, when I was about 6 and Shelly was 4, they hit on a plan that was nothing short of brilliant. About a month before Christmas, they started mentioning things we had done that were not “good”: lying about breaking something, taking my sister’s toys, not sharing; and then dropping the hint that those actions would qualify us for Santa’s “naughty” list.

A few days before Christmas, they made it clear that, as far as they were concerned, I had not been a good little boy to the extent that would satisfy Santa, and it was likely that he would not be visiting our house on Christmas Eve.

I kind-of alternated between denial and devastation — had I really pissed-off the one who sees me when I’m sleeping and knows when I’m awake? — so you can imagine my surprise when I woke up on Christmas morning to find presents around the tree with my name on them!

But the presents all came from somebody  I knew — namely, mom and dad, my sister, cousins, uncles and aunts and even my grandparents. 

While I was still processing this in my child-mind, mom and dad sat me down. “These presents are not from Santa Claus,” they said. “These presents are our way of saying, ‘We love you,’ and that has nothing to do with whether you’ve been naughty or nice. You’re our little boy, and that’s what matters.”

Then they took it to the next level. “God and Jesus love you in the same way. God loves all of us because we’re His children, and Jesus is there to help you when you’re sad or when you think you’re going to do something wrong.”

Believe it or not, the tactic worked. They hadn’t actually told me there was no Santa Claus, so that made it easier to believe that I could turn to Jesus — whom I hadn’t seen in the flesh, either. Now, I’ve used it with my own children, and they’ve been able to tell their school friends why the love of Jesus is more important than being on someone’s “nice list”.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

— James 1:17

An interesting approach, and if you’re going to put it to work, you probably need several months’ lead-time, which is why I’m passing this on to you now, while Christmas is still fresh in the mind.

What do you think? Did you or your parents come up with any approach for dispelling the Santa myth?

No Vacancy!

Do you have moments when one or two words leap out at you in a Familiar Passage? That’s just happened to me.

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

— Luke 2:4-7


Every time I’ve read that, I’ve simply imagined that the inn was packed to the gunwales and the only space Joseph and Mary could go was the stable. But there were two words that had sort-of slipped past me until just now.

For them

And suddenly, a whole different scenario started to play out in my mind. Imagine: a man and a teenage girl show up, evidently not married but evidently expecting a child.

JOSEPH: We need a place to stay tonight.

INN-KEEPER (Dickensian sleaze-ball sent from Central Casting): Sorry, mate – no room for you here.

JOSEPH: But this girl is about to have a baby.

INN-KEEPER: Do we have a learning disability here? I said —

TRAVELER AND WIFE (arriving): Got a place for tonight?

INN-KEEPER: Yes – go right on in.

ANOTHER TRAVELER (arriving): I need a bed tonight.

INN-KEEPER: Welcome!

JOSEPH: So you do have a room tonight.

INN-KEEPER: Let me clarify. There’s no room for you here. I don’t want your kind here: you get that tart knocked-up and don’t even have the backbone to stand on The Law like a real man and have her turned away.

The writer of Hebrews points out how Jesus knows full well what we go through:

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)

But more than that, He started His life on earth not just in as lowly a state as you can get — born in a stable and laid down in a feeding-trough to sleep — but as a victim of discrimination and prejudice.  And He was raised by parents who did not rant and rail and kvetch about how unfair life was: His parents went along with the situation. They knew that technically the inn-keeper was right: they were in violation of The Law, but in total obedience to God. It was a foreshadowing of the life that lay ahead for that Baby.

Somebody knows the trouble you’ve seen: poverty, temptation, ostracism … and even prejudice from Day One.

The disappointment of Christmas

(I’m a Twelve Days of Christmas guy, so today is actually Christmas-2.)

Have you ever been disappointed at Christmas?


(I’ve actually grown sick of that movie …)

Probably my two worst disappointments were the year we did not get the GE Portacolor TVge-portacolor that I’d asked for (and which “only” cost $300.00 back in 1967) and the year that the girl who’d just dumped me in the first week of December did not call up and say, “Merry Christmas! Let’s get back together!” I think I stayed close to the phone much of the day — just in case.

I know: you’d trade problems with me …

But if you want to talk disappointment, how about:

  • meeting the girl of your dreams, being convinced that not only is she the only one for you, but you are the only one for her … only to find out that she’s pregnant?
  • being an honest, upright, God-fearing girl, who’s met the man she will marry, only to find out that you’re pregnant, and you just KNOW that no one will believe you when you say how it happened?
  • being promised something for literally hundreds of years and when it finally arrives, it’s considerably different from what you thought you were getting? Like, say, a Saviour to help us overcome all the things that were tormenting us, like disease, famine and invading countries, and when it all comes together, all the signs are in place, you get …



God actually has a record of disappointing us. He calls on us to suppress our natural desires and inclinations. He declares, “Vengeance is Mine,” thereby depriving us of the personal satisfaction “getting our own back”. When we do something well, He expects us to give Him the glory and take none for ourselves.

The thing with the Baby, for one thing, was a classic case of using foolishness to confound the wise (1 Corinthians 1:27), although God also did promise that “a little child shall lead [us]” (Isaiah 11:6).

But sending His Son as a Baby also ensured that the Saviour would be someone who started His journey just like any human being, going through the entire growing-up process with its temptations and desires, so that we could continue our respective journeys after our meeting Him (whenever that might be) in a way closer to God. Of course, who could have known that at the time?

It’s in these times of disappointment that God visits us. A friend of mine, Clarence Vickers, is fond of saying, “When you are down to nothing, God is up to something.” We need to remember that the solutions God sends are rarely, if ever, what we were expecting — but inevitably turn out to be exactly what we need.

If you want it …

And suddenly, there was with the Angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host, praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest! And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
— Luke 2:14

The Nativity — Salvador Dali

Recently, I was struck by something I’d puzzled about for many years: John Lennon’s declaration that “War is over, if you want it”.

The Angels’ song, heard by the shepherds outside Bethlehem over 2,000 years ago, was actually a declaration of war: war on war, in fact, as only God can do it. With those two sentences, He changed the game, and with World War III blazing all around us, let’s take a breath and contemplate that.

The movie Miss Congeniality spoofs a recurring theme in the hopes and dreams of beauty pageant contestants — to work for “world peace”. A friend of mine recently sent her own non-religious holiday greeting with the words Pax in terra. But if you parse the Angels’ song, you actually find that “peace on earth” is just one of three interconnected ideas:

  1. Glory to God in the highest
  2. On earth peace
  3. Goodwill toward men
I believe those three are not only interconnected, they’re inseparable. We are to give the greatest glory to God — glorify Him with our words, our actions and most importantly our love; and extend goodwill towards everybody, regardless of their declared Religion, background or past — remembering that “goodwill” actually means God’s Will, and His Will is for us to have more abundant life.
When we do that, we have peace on earth.
Can we have peace on earth without giving God the highest glory and extending His will towards people?
Have we even tried? Think about it.
War is over, John sang, if you want it.
As I contemplate that, I realize that God has done His part to end the war. He’s given us an “out” through the Birth of His Son, that breaks us out of that vicious cycle that comes from the human desire to want “one last lick”, but it’s up to us to receive it.
Jesus also breaks us out of that mind-set — the slavery — of discrimination and hatred caused by race, class, educational background, religious doctrine or any of the myriad other things that cause one group of people to claim superiority over another — which is the basis of all wars.
The thing is, God has declared “war is over”; it’s up to us to agree.
This Christmas, and heading into 2017, I pray that we’ll all reach out, in our way, to receive that amazing Gift the Lord has given us: the solution, that smashes the chains of our own human nature and the yoke that comes with it, and truly sets us free.
Merry Christmas, everybody!

O Christmas tree — and other seasonal symbols to appreciate.

It is now 32 years since I may have ruined a kid’s faith in his father.
I was a newscaster at CKDA Radio in Victoria, BC, and I ran a story about psychologists giving advice on how to explain the “Santa Claus myth” to one’s children.
I came out of the newsroom to find my colleague, Al Siebring, in a heated discussion on the phone. “Yes, but why did you lie to your kid?” Al challenged the caller.
from The Tryal of Old Father Christmasby Josiah King, 1658

Apparently, this caller’s child had heard the story and the reference to Santa as a “myth” and was devastated. But Al had a point: the child had been lied-to, and the perpetrator was not the guy on the radio.  (Two other thoughts occurred to me afterwards: how would a child intelligent enough to know what “myth” meant not have figured out the truth about Santa Claus; and it’s possible that the caller was a pre-Internet troll, waiting for a chance to gripe about something someone said on radio. Heaven knows, there are enough of them.)

I ate a little crow the next day and read the famous “Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus!” editorial from the New York Sun, September 21, 1897. (The editorial loses its curve when it says one might as well not believe in fairies, but the key point gets through.)

And the debate is underway again, and probably will continue until Jesus comes back and settles things once and for all. Certainly, there’s concern that, with Christmercialization going on unabated in our world today, you’d think Santa had supplanted Jesus as the reason for the season. Some people take a cue from Dana Carvey’s “Church Lady”, who noted that “SANTA” and “SATAN” are anagrams. But I don’t buy into that. After all, the true spirit that Santa Claus represents cannot exist satanically. When my children would ask, “Is Santa Claus real?”, we’d always tell them, “The spirit he represents is real”. It’s a spirit of selfless giving, of caring for children, and of believing for miracles.

But all of that exists not because Santa Claus – or the original Saint Nicholas – is a “good guy”. Unless giving, is motivated by Christ – the anointing – it’s invariably dictated by convenience. We’ll give so long as it’s convenient – or makes us look good. True selflessness in giving is motivated by “Christ in us”: the same motivation which drags us out of bed at an unseemly hour to see someone, take someone someplace, or help in a disaster.

That motivation necessarily drives out Satan, and Satan cannot cast out Satan. So if Santa has been given a position in which he is the object of worship at this time of year, that’s our problem – not Santa’s. Same with the part of this legend that encourages parents to lie to their kids: as Ms Stock writes (and may have been experienced all those years ago in Victoria), how many children have had the trust they had in their parents shattered when they found out that all those cookie crumbs, footprints in ash in the carpet by the fireplace and “if you don’t go to bed, Santa won’t come”, were all part of an elaborate lie?

Of course, we can change that. Santa Claus, indeed, should symbolize a mortal man whose life and deeds exemplify “Christ in us”. That, I think, is really where Christian parents should go when their kids ask that inevitable question.
And then there’s the Christmas tree.
Some people sanctimoniously remind us that the tree was originally a pagan symbol, and co-opted by Christians to attract pagans to the faith. Some feel it, like Santa, has become an idol, supplanting God as an object of worship. But regardless of its origins, a symbol is what we make it and to me, the Christmas tree symbolizes what God did on that day, just over 2000 years ago.
Indeed, the Christmas tree is hardly alone as an “adopted” symbol. It’s similar to St Patrick, using the shamrock to illustrate the Trinity. And the very first Canadian Christmas Carol, the hauntingly beautiful “Huron Carol”, sings of the “Mighty Gitchi Manitou” sending angel choirs during the “moon of wintertime”. Or Larry Norman using rock ‘n’ roll to reach young people with the message of Jesus.
Here’s what the Christmas tree means to me. It’s an evergreen: its colour never changes – just as God’s Word is eternal. (Isaiah used the image of a cedar — an evergreen — in Chapter 5 to describe the coming of the Messiah.) It stands, rooted to the spot, immobile, just as God Word stays planted and firm. We’re the ones who go traipsing off in all directions, following our whims and lusts of the world, and it’s up to us to come back to the tree.

Thus says the Lord God: “I will take also one of the highest branches of the high cedar and set it out. I will crop off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and will plant it on a high and prominent mountain on the mountain height of Israel I will plant it; ad it will bring forth boughs and bear fruit, and be a majestic cedar. Under it will dwell birds of every sort; in the shadow of its branches they will dwell. (Ezekiel 17:22-23

The tree reaches up to Heaven, and its branches reach out – which is what God did when He sent His son to be with us, stretching forth His mighty right hand (Jesus sits on the right hand of God, remember?) to bless and empower us.

It’s similar to the symbolism of Jesus’ calling fishermen to be the first Apostles: they understood the concept of standing in their own element — on land or in their boat — and casting their lines or their nets into another element. So, too, God cast His net into our element (the world) while staying put in His (Heaven).

God uses any means possible to get through to us. Just as with Paul, who picked up on the monument “to the unknown god” when he spoke at Mars Hill (Acts 17:16-34), God will send someone who can use pre-existing objects of worship as a basis for proclaiming the truth of the One True God. It could be a nameless monument, a tree, a shamrock, or a fat guy in a red suit.

Go ahead … say it!

So I was sitting in a Second Cup in Toronto this time last year (the same Second Cup I was sitting in when I observed people crossing the street at the five-way intersection), and got chatting with a fellow who had come in for his morning latte. As he was about to go, I said, “Merry Christmas!”

He did a double-take, and then his face broke into a smile. “Merry Christmas to you, too!”

Maybe I was reading too much into it, because of my sense that “Merry Christmas” might offend people, but he did seem pleasantly surprised that I’d said that.

Just before that trip to Toronto, I was in the airport in Orlando, Florida, and as we finished the check-in procedure, I said to the clerk — who was one of these all-business guys — “Merry Christmas!” He immediately broke out of his facade and said, “Merry Christmas to you, too, my fr– uh, sir!”

When I say “Merry Christmas” to someone, I’m expressing a wish for them to have all the joy, peace and love of God that Christmas represents. Indeed, I have yet to find anyone who’s actually told me those words offend them. Perhaps those who take offense are not those of “other religions”, but those who, for one reason or other, want to deny there’s a God at all, much less one to whom we are ultimately accountable — even if He will go to any lengths to keep us on His good side.

But if we say, “Season’s Greetings” and “Happy Holidays”, as the “inclusionists” would demand, there’s nothing particularly special about this season over others that would require “greetings”, and what other “holiday” is there?  Some “official” functions are now referred to as “Winter Festivals”, to eliminate Christian references. But the only religion I can think of which has a “Winter Festival” is paganism, so that name actually excludes a whole lot more faiths than just Christianity, thereby making it even more “exclusionary.”


This backlash against acknowledging the holiday we’re celebrating is not something found in all First World countries. Two years ago, I was in Melbourne, Australia, just before Christmas. Sure, there was lots of noise about Santa Claus and shopping specials along the malls downtown, but it’s also very clear that this is Christmas. Nowhere was that more apparent than in a public space, near St Paul’s Cathedral, where they had a Santa Cabin set up, and nearby, this installation. The photo barely captures what it is, but if you look closely, you’ll see that it’s a combination of passages from Matthew 1 and Luke 2, describing the birth of Jesus.

Do you think, maybe, the Christmas backlash is back-firing? It’s forcing us to re-visit the true meaning of Christmas and re-kindle the joy in our hearts about what it means. The devil is the one who wants to squelch any sort of joy in our lives, so go ahead and tell anyone you meet, “Merry Christmas!” You’ll be surprised at how many people are just waiting for a chance to say it back.

Disorganized religion?

From time to time, I hear people say, “I’m just not into organized religion”. It seems to me to be a way of shutting down any conversation that might lead to one testifying or sharing something about the glory of God or the transformational power of Jesus Christ — kind of like the sentence, “I’m not religious – but I am spiritual”. It certainly diverts attention, because one then feels like one has to explain carefully (and respectfully) how the walk with Christ is actually different from some people’s preconceived notions.

It also heads off the discussion of the reality that God is there and wants a relationship with us; and that we’re not supposed to pursue our relationship with God 100% on our own. Fellowship, hanging out with other Believers, is an integral part of that relationship. That’s what church is all about, or should be, I believe.

It’s like a magician’s sleight-of-hand: look over here at the top hat where the rabbit disappeared and you won’t see me slip this coin up my sleeve.

All that being said, the discussion of “organized religion” is an important one, because Jesus often cautions us against sectarianism.

Now John answered [Jesus], saying “Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us.” But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me. For he who is not against us is on our side.”

— Mark 9:38-40

In other words, what matters is that you’re following Jesus — not whether you’re part of some holy inner circle. If you’re with him, you are in the inner circle: just a very BIG inner circle.

That’s another of the many reasons to rejoice at Christmas: Jesus welcomes us into God’s inner circle, tearing away the veil that had separated “ordinary” people from His presence. This isn’t to say we don’t need pastors or teachers, any more than we’re expected to perform our own surgery. Someone has to lead — God is not a god of chaos and confusion — and God has given us His word so each of us can read and understand it for ourselves, to guard against those human-based doctrines that turn others off “organized religion”, and in so doing, drive them away from the Lord.

The organization of fellowship is vital for us all, individually and socially.

“Tell ’em you’re gonna tell ’em … tell ’em … then tell ’em you told ’em!”



That quote was attributed to the entertainer George M. Cohan, and while he was actually talking about making sure your audience got the joke and knew who told it, that same sentiment has a lot to do with the joy that is Christmas.


George M. Cohan in 1910


Because one of the fundamental messages of Christmas comes from the fact that God told us this was coming. For centuries, He had told us He would send a Saviour — a Messiah, who would restore the connection that we had willingly if unwittingly broken back in the Garden. Then, it all came together that night in Bethlehem and for the thirty-odd years that followed.

And then God reminded us that it happened just as He said it would. If you want the Cole’s Notes version of the prophecies, read Luke 24:26-27. That’s where Jesus, having risen from the dead, is walking with two disciples on the road to Emmaus, and reminds them of the prophecies. My King James Version has, in its centre-column notes, a complete list of those prophecies.

So God told us this was going to happen; it happened; and then, through Jesus that day en route to Emmaus, He told us that He told us. Christmas is our annual reminder of that message.

But there’s something deeper than that. At its root, Christmas reminds us of something very basic:

  1. God is real
  2. He loves us
  3. He wants a connection with us
  4. His word is true.*

Think of this: did you ever have a “crush” on someone in high school (or even elementary school)? And then, after years, or months, or even weeks of wondering whether he or she even knew you were alive, you discovered that that person also had a crush on, or was in love with, or kinda liked you, or thought you were “pretty cool”?

OK. Now, times that feeling by Infinity … and that’s the rejoicing we can do at Christmas-time, because God, Who can seem so far away and so misunderstood and so unreal, is really there, after all, with His arms open wide and His Son waiting to say, “I’m with you”!

Joy to the world, indeed!

*Maybe that’s why there’s been a trend to suppress recognition of “Christmas” in some areas: some people, under the guise of “inclusiveness” don’t want to admit to Point 1 — even in spite of Points 2 through 4.