As we’ve been approaching the holy days this season, I’ve been filled with all sorts of conflicting emotions. Sadness over the shootings that have happened. Sadness at the grief of those families losing loved ones at a time that is supposed to be so joyful. Stress as Christmas came closer and I wasn’t ready for it. Dismay at the amounts of money people spend on presents. Dismay also at those who try to drive a wedge between people with their insistence on promoting a war on Christmas, forgetting that many other holidays are celebrated at this time of year too.
Then I feel joy when I take home-baked goodies to my elderly neighbors. Joy when I give handcrafted gifts to friends and relations. Gratitude for the miracles I’ve seen this year—reconciliation among family members and the return of a prodigal who had been missing for two years. Comfort in celebrating the traditions of Advent, the lighting of the candles and the readings that remind us to get ready to welcome Jesus. Joy at the season itself, when we celebrate his birth, and remember his message of hope and love and peace for all humankind.
I wish for you peace this season, and the hope of a more just 2013.
Contributed by Karen Oberst, Klamath Falls Friends