Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Chestnuts and Christmas Greetings

My friend Ruby gave me a generous amount of chestnuts recently. As a child, she lived in upstate New York and her family had a chestnut tree in their yard. She has loved them ever since.

Of course, I was delighted to try them. After all, “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire” is a Christmas classic. Unfortunately, our fireplaces don’t work, so I had to use the toaster oven. And thus came about new lyrics for the old Christmas classic as Ruby and I wrote back and forth on Facebook:

“Chestnuts roasting in a toaster oven.
Kleenex for a stuffy nose.
Modern carols made up on the fly,
And laughter with people that you know.
Everybody knows some snowplows and some salting trucks
Help to make the season bright.
So spread the word,
Tell everyone what you’ve heard
And Merry Christmas to you!”

Despite what our silly little song would imply, Jesus is the reason for the season! The early Christian church was wise to set the date for celebrating Jesus’ birth at the darkest time of the year. Jesus is the light of the world. And, as Christians, we celebrate our faith with joy and lights and feasting especially in the darkest of times!

December is also the time for the Jewish feast celebrating light – Hannukah. This festival began about well before Jesus’ time when the Macabees rebelled against the Greeks who had polluted the temple. The temple lamp was re-lit and, although there was only enough oil for one day, the lamp miraculously burned for 8 days, until more purified oil was readied.

So let’s celebrate the light in the midst of darkness, laughter in the midst of stress and hardship, divine provision in a time of famine. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Genesis 1: 3-5 (Message) ‘God spoke: "Light!" And light appeared. God saw that light was good and separated light from dark.’

John 1:1-5 (NASB) ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.’

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