As a Christian, this is a joyous time of year, when I honor the birthday of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (even though I'm pretty certain the day is not the actual date of his birth) and the world joins in.
This night offers great power to those without power, hope to those without hope, love to those who are unloved and faith for those without faith.
Hear Il Divo and chorus crescendo into the profound moment of "O Holy Night."
The story of Joseph and Mary arriving in the night, her ready to give birth and no place but the humble manger--the feeding trough for the stinky animals--was available for the event that changed the world, regardless of what faith one has.
A humble child, in the harshest of circumstances survived the cold night, and lived to bring a message of love and peace.
For the powerless, a story of power.
Angels announced the birth to the humblest of people, to shepherds, who were stuck guarding the sheep in the fields. They didn't have the luxury of a pen or shed to keep their watch easy. No, these were on the bottom rung of the career ladder.
The Angel spoke to them. First words: "Fear not."
I love it when angels appear in unexpected places. The shock individuals experience seeing them forces the first statement to be: "Don't be afraid" or "Fear not" because if an angel appeared to me, I might be scared witless, too.
For the hopeless, a message of hope.
Hear Libera Boys Choir sing "While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night"
The next thing these poor, down trodden shepherds learn is that the extreme event means "Good News" and not bad news. "Great Joy" is mentioned, so the presentation is upbeat and positive. They are so overcome, they lug their flocks to the stable to see the young child and discover it is just as the angel said, and later as the chorus of angels sang.
A transforming moment. For the faithless, a reason to believe, enough that the faith is born out.
Whatever hostilities that occur between people of different faiths, countries of rivaling agendas and enemies of common ground, this moment in each year brings a goodness to everyone.
All people (regardless of faith) seem kinder, gentler, more understanding and willing to forgive or at least put up with the ones they don't like. Even the bah humbug-gers will say it with a smile.
Of course, exceptions to every statement above exist, but in general, I believe the goodness that each individual has within them shines during this season.
For the unloved, Christmas is a message of love. God loves you, so much he gave his only son, Jesus, to be born on earth to save us from our sins.
"Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming" The ancient melody and words sing: "to show God's love aright, she bore to us a Savior."
Greater love hath no one than they give up their life for a friend.
Be a friend of Jesus and feel the love.
As the year draws to an end, I wish you well and thank you for reading my musings. May you find your way to truth and discover the blessings of God for you and yours.
These three abide: faith, hope and love. The greatest of these is love.