True gifts of Christmas

Published 12:30 am Saturday, December 23, 2017


Silent night.

On that hillside outside Bethlehem approximately 2,000 years ago, the shepherds could have been thinking about any number of things. They didn’t have to worry about glaring lights or the neighbor’s blaring stereo piercing their thought processes.

They very easily could have been thinking about themselves, mired in worries or rehashing some slight from earlier in the day, pondering how to get even.

Then it happened — that experience which they never, ever would be able to describe adequately — the experience that had to have transformed their lives. The angels’ news and the heavenly chorus transported them outside themselves and led them to a miracle.

Holy night.

The miracle lives for all of us, all year long, not just on Dec. 25. The story told in the Book of Luke is not a story of presents to be coveted or delicacies to be savored at the dining room table. It is the story of how the Son of God — the Word made flesh — was born to save the world from its sins.

For us, today, it is a story about how the most precious gifts are those we give of ourselves, how we can make life better for every person we touch.

All is calm, all is bright, no matter how busy the world around us, if he is at our center, and we are focused on others in his name.