A couple of days ago I brought tears to many of my family by considering how our parents got Christmas right. Our family gathered last night. A good time was had and I got another opportunity to consider my parents. I was unhappy in my failure to nail down how they were able to get Christmas right.
So there is no confusion, although I grew up in the 50s, my family wasn’t Father Knows Best, or Leave It To Beaver, or even The Waltons. My parents were real people with faults and “issues.” They were sinners, if you will. We had many of the problems that haunt modern families. After much thought I realize that the difference was that my parents stayed together. Through poverty and drug addiction and even crime, I don’t remember one time thinking my parents might separate. It was beyond the realm of possibility. Through all that happened to us, and much did, that truth produced a stable and assured generation.
Split Christmas was unknown to us. Today too many kids will spend Christmas in two different places. Because of divorce, or no marriage, their parents don’t live together. Christmas Eve isn’t the time to lecture anyone about their life choices. But sadly, it is the time to weep for and to pray for kids whose Christmas is split. It’s not natural. It’s not the way things are suppose to be. I fear we will pay a dear price for it in the years ahead.
Jesus loves the little children. I can’t help but think he weeps. We can’t change what already is, but can’t we pray for a return to some of the old ways real soon? Rene and Mary Lou, your staying together makes forgiving what you got wrong really easy. I pray we will learn how you did that before it’s too late.
Jesus, be with all the little children no matter where they celebrate your birth.