The Christmas Card
December 22, 2011For many years I sent Christmas Cards. Sometimes they were hand drawn... figures from the story of Christmas in line drawing with Scripture as the border. There was Mary..."my soul magnifies the Lord..." There were shepherds and Magi, gifts and wonder, angels and song. I remember the year when I stopped buying Currier and Ives scenes and jolly Santas and Snowmen. I remember thinking that a Christmas card with the Story of Christ received and read might be the only time some people thought about the reason for the season. In some mild mannered way, I thought it witness. Usually there was the Christmas letter telling about the activity of the Campbells, our work, our travels, the accomplishments of our perfect children. Daddy always thought it was bragging in a jingle bell sorta way. Truthfully, it felt like that when I was writing them. It's been a lot of years since I mailed Christmas cards and letters, but I love receiving them. I love reading the sentiments and pray through every name. I read the letters carefully, a way of keeping up with those I love. I put the pictures on my fridge, so I am mindful of each precious presence in my life every time I open the door. This year has held much news, a few laughs, some tears, and deep thanksgivings for those who still keep me on their list. That they wrote my name, licked an envelope, stuck on a stamp - which is no little work, is like a hug and a good wish. This year I have learned of friends moves to new countries, the death of a friend's son-in-law at the hands of a drunk driver. Harvey's card says, "The older I get, the more I enjoy sending Christmas cards..." He is 96 and this is his second Christmas without Gen. His humor is still wonderful! But the card I got that held me for a long time this year came from a couple I know and love, but only see casually. On the front of the card is a bright star shining over the little town of Bethlehem. It reads, "Christmas is the day that holds all time together...." Those words linger in my heart even now. This is something I know; this is something I believe. My favorite Chrismon is the Chi/Rho symbol of Christ in the center of the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. You will see it on trees and paraments in many churches during Advent. I have always thought of this symbol in the belief that Christ intervened in history, and intervenes today in history at the center of the beginning and the end. Christ stands in the center as the Eternal Now over all history, over all time. Christmas is indeed the day that holds all time together. We, you and I, are held in this time by the Christ who comes as love, God's love for all the world. What have we to fear in a world that is held by Christ? What can this freedom mean for the world? Love unleashed! Dear Friends, readers, spammers, and all who are the Virtual Church, please receive this mail as my Christmas Card to you. Find your way to the manger this year, that you may participate in this mystery and miracle that is Christmas. Christ the Savior is born. Christ the Savior is born. Happy Christmas to you and yours, and health and blessings in the new year on the horizon. Amen.