Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Joy of Christmas

After the challenges of the past year, we can reflect on the message of hope that Christmas brings. This faith-lit prophecy is from Isaiah 9:6: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." 
It is in this spirit that we lavish love on our family and as many others as we can.  What memories we have of the simple Christmas gestures that brought us joy.  For me, it was riding up the escalator in Times Store on King Street when I was about eight years old with my Dad.  He took me over to the book section, and to my delight, told me I could choose any book I wished.  In those budget conscious times, we borrowed books to read from the library and returned them so having one's own book – not a text book – was an amazing treat.
Then, regardless of how careful she was with menu-planning the rest of the year, my mother would be shopping, baking and seasoning in the weeks before Christmas.  Her sewing machine buzzed constantly, as she transformed 'pound-cloth' into lovely curtains, cushion covers and new Christmas outfits for her children.
At church, we rehearsed Christmas carols – the commanding 'Oh Come All Ye Faithful', the stirring 'Oh Holy Night' and the ecstatic 'Joy to the World'. Midnight Mass was a feast for the senses: the music, candlelight, incense, Bible readings brought us to the comforting realization that "God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" - John 3:16

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