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Inn Carnation

Joy to the world, the Lord is come. So where’s the joy? From the cradle to the cross, Jesus was never in the Inn crowd. The world tries to celebrate Christmas with a joy that is as artificial as a tree ornament. “I’ll be home for Christmas”.. was a melancholy tune that had as much to do about Christmas as roasting chestnuts over an open fire.  Hearing Bing sing  “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas,” made more than a few feel blue on Christ’s birthday. Millions will not only be alone for the holidays, they will feel somehow left out and unloved, the very opposite of Immanuel’s meaning and the Messiah’s message. There will be no “Over the River and through the Woods” for most once again this year. There is no Grandmother’s house to go to.  However, the make-believe Christmas magic does seem to cast a spell over the world in wistful if not wishful thinking every year in December. It’s a fever that few escape.  It’s a flu. People expect too much, plan too much, spend, eat and drink too much, all of which has nothing to do with the Incarnation of God, or the reason Jesus came. He was wrapped in swaddling clothes, not ribbons or garland. There were no bowls of punch, or mistletoe, no Play Stations or X-Boxes in Bethlehem. There is something unseemly about people brawling over flat screen TVs on Black Friday or worse, on Thanksgiving Day.  The Pilgrims refused to celebrate Christmas, because they said the word was not found in the Bible. The Pilgrims would have been appalled, recognizing the spirit of a pagan festival with the Sin of Indulgence hiding its dress of seduction beneath the gaudy garments of a so-called saint. But while I am a pilgrim, I am no Pilgrim. Both Jesus and Paul seemed to agree that all things were lawful when guided by love for God and for people. So, go ahead and along with the Prodigal’s Father, be merry, or with the Angelic Heavenly Host, be joyful this Christmas.  But do not repeat the sin of putting the babe somewhere in the back of your overcrowded Inn, but rather by love and faith, like the wise men of old, seek to make it all about Him.  -id

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