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I suppose there are still people around here and there who complain about the creeping secularism of the Holidays and who in consequence admonish others to “keep Christ in Christmas”. I well remember such exhortations from the time of my childhood, growing up in Wichita, KS. Such hortatory rituals were often accompanied by carols, religious services, and – I would argue, curiously enough – by a reading of Charles Dickens’ perennial A Christmas Carol. I say “curiously enough” because I have just finished reading Carol for the few-hundredth time and for the first time, I noticed the absence of Christ in Carol, except in a very "thin", allusive sense. Carol without Christ, or with Christ in the background of the background, is a much more universal, even “archetypal”, story of the awaken
Many of us woke up to some bad news this morning. In a late-night Friday session, Congress passed a tax bill that could carry some terrible consequences to a whole lot of people. It's hard to maintain hope when it feels like your world is flying apart faster than you could possibly put it back together. But we are moving into the season which is all about hope. Advent is here. If I were a child, I might eat a small piece of chocolate each day from an Advent calendar to remind me of the approaching light at the end of the tunnel. But since I'm a grownup, I don't have one on hand. So I'm pretending because that's what someone with the heart of a child might do. I'm reminding myself to keep my mind on that light at the end of the tunnel. Be a light of hope wherever you ...