It’s been a very difficult week here in Connecticut. Last week less than 30 miles away from my home was the site of the second worse school shooting in our nation’s history. 20 small children between the ages of 6 and 7 were gunned down in their classroom. 6 female educators were gunned down trying to protect the school children. It’s a tragedy that knocks you off balance and shakes you to your very core.
It’s in times like these that I look to things that are comforting. Readings which provide some sort of guidance, faith or hope. With Christmas around the corner these quickly came to mind.
“When you give something, just for the joy of creating, it always comes back on a much larger scale.” —Ji Lee
“Tonight I want to tell you the story of an empty stocking.
Once upon a midnight clear, there was a child’s cry, a blazing star hung over a stable, and wise men came with birthday gifts. We haven’t forgotten that night down the centuries. We celebrate it with stars on Christmas trees, with the sound of bells, and with gifts.
But especially with gifts. You give me a book, I give you a tie. Aunt Martha has always wanted an orange squeezer and Uncle Henry can do with a new pipe. For we forget nobody, adult or child. All the stockings are filled, all that is, except one. And we have even forgotten to hang it up. The stocking for the child born in a manger. Its his birthday we’re celebrating. Don’t let us ever forget that.
Let us ask ourselves what He would wish for most. And then, let each put in his share, loving kindness, warm hearts, and a stretched out hand of tolerance. All the shinning gifts that make peace on earth. ”
— The Christmas Sermon in the movie, The Bishop’s Wife
Bill Murray plays Francis Xavier Cross in the classic Christmas movie, Scroogred, by far one of my absolute favorites. It’s a wonderful 1988 parody on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The speech at the end of the movie is fantastically written and makes the point very clear.
[Frank X Cross]: “I’m not crazy. It’s Christmas Eve. It’s the one night when we all act a little nicer. We…we smile a little easier. We…we…share a little more. For a couple of hours we are the people we always hoped we would be. It’s really a miracle because it happens every Christmas Eve. And if you waste that miracle, you’re gonna burn for it. I know. You have to do something. You have to take a chance and get involved. There are people that don’t have enough to eat and who are cold. You can go and greet these people. Take an old blanket out to them or make a sandwich and say, “Here.” “l get it now.” And if you give, then it can happen, the miracle can happen to you. Not just the poor and hungry, Everybody’s gotta have this miracle! It can happen tonight for you all! If you believe in this pure thing, the miracle will happen and you’ll want it again tomorrow! You won’t say, “Christmas is once a year and it’s a fraud.” It’s not! It can happen every day! You’ve just got to want that feeling! You’ll want it every day! It can happen to you! I believe in it now. I believe it’s gonna happen to me, now. I’m ready for it! And it’s great. It’s a good feeling. It’s better than I’ve felt in a long time. I’m ready. Have a Merry Christmas. Everybody… Did I forget something, big man?
[Calvin] “God bless us, every one.“