As we approach the season of good will and gift giving, it is timely for us to pause and reflect.
What started all of this, was the unremarkable birth of a son to a carpenter and his wife. The boy grew to manhood, and along the way started thinking of a different way of valuing and treating people. He shared these ideas with friends - and they liked them so much, that they translated them into a way of life. This, they shared with others - and like all good ideas, it took off.
And that's about it! Period!
Everything else was added afterwards to guild the lily.
People have embellished and re-embellished the story until it has been smothered by trivia. Then the trivia became holy writ and the original message lost in translation. Angels, star, wise men, virgin birth, miracles blah, blah, blah - etc, etc, etc
Religions have built business empires upon it, and made war on each other in its name. I think that Mary and Joseph's boy would throw up, if he saw how polluted his ideas had become.
So, at this time of the year, we do well to contemplate that little family and it's boy's gift to the world.
We give gifts to each other, and make an effort to be a little more patient, a little more kind, curb our boasting, and be happy for the gifts that others have and receive.
We honour others and put past wrongs behind us.
We teach our children to trust, to hope and to persevere in kindness.
In short - we show each other how to love.
These are the gifts of this season, and the path to true peace.
I hope that all of you will experience the joy that peace can bring, and the love of family and friends at this time - and for the future.
Happy Christmas to all.
Have a safe holiday.
Drive carefully and arrive safe.
May Santa fill your stocking with gifts you need, and may you rejoice in the joy of giving to others.
Back to woodwork when the holidays are over.
....... and may you find peace ...................