So This is Christmas… 2008

Wow. 2008… almost gone. And where did it go so quickly? I couldn’t let this year end without one more journal entry. I purposefully went on ‘radio silence’ during all the election madness of November, and then the Christmas season was upon us (and numerous musicals and gigs, thank God!).

In the midst of all the holiday cheer, there are a select few Christmas tunes that I really enjoy. “Silent Night” and “Do You Hear What I Hear” are a couple of carols that ring my bell. But one song in particular has been rolling through my mind even now.

So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

John Lennon wrote “Happy Christmas (War is Over)” as his ode to peace and the belief that love could triumph over war, hate, bigotry, and all the other ills that infect and affect mankind. This is not just an idealistic hippie dream of the 60’s, but the fervent faith of a man proclaiming his heart-felt faith in peace.

And he was right… almost. In my own life, every attempt to change in my own power usually ended in disaster… or worse! I can’t help but be reminded of my friend Martin in Belfast, Northern Ireland. After giving us a tour of that war and hate-torn city, he made a statement that still rings true. “The only thing that will bring peace to Ireland”, Martin boldly exclaimed, “is the Love of Jesus”.

Amazing! I know he was referring mainly to Belfast and the Irish ‘Troubles”, but his words are incredibly appropriate. On every hand we have our own ‘troubles’; recession, unemployment, bankruptcy, political unrest… and almost in fulfillment of those dire prophesies, we have war, famine, and starvation. Somehow just hoping and wishing for Love and Peace to triumph is not enough.

And it’s not. But God made a way through these troubles (notice I didn’t say ‘out of’). The Love and Blood of Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). Check it out for yourself and see if it’s not true.

So… this was Christmas and 2008. What have we done? What have ‘I” done? In spite of the triumphs and trials of 08, I know that 2009 will bring it’s own unique set of challenges, and that Jesus Christ is still the answer to the war that rages in my own life.

I’ll leave you with the chorus of what is now my favorite Christmas song…

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear
War is over over
If you want it
War is over
Now…

Wishing you Love and Peace in 2009… His!!

GV
December 31, 2008
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