Sunday, December 19, 2004


Having stepped across the seasonal boundary to a period when ancient Rome celebrated Natalis Solis Invicti – the birth of the invincible sun. OK Trekies, shades of “Bread and Circuses” –

What was the sun became, in 340 AD, the son; and seven hundred years later entered Germany. There pagans worshiped a sacred oak; an evangelical priest cuts it down; from its roots grows a fir tree – rendered sacred – “vanity” (Je 13:2) cuts, stands, decorates it with silver and gold.

1890, Victoria’s Albert brings his tradition to England – “vanity” emulates a Crown. In matters of faith, continuity of tradition clearly is paramount – differences lost to the intricacies of the Roman mindset. Season to season, sun to son, oak to fir, from darkest antiquity, a blessed time endures.

An American holiday, first in Alabama 1836 – by 1890 throughout the nation – the 25th sees the German-cum-Victorian fir – or spruce – replete with delicate glass ornaments and trim. The Old English, Cristes Maesse in 1038; by 1131 is Cristes-messe – today Christmas. Language evolves.

Third century scholars Tertullian and Irenaeus make no mention of what is unknown in fact. It is Church doctrine, only sinners celebrate birthdays – they ridicule any notion of a temporal birthday for an eternal deity. Transition rather than birth, transition rather than death; departure with the promise of return. Faith yields hope – the last of evils within Pandora’s Box; Pandora, the Greek Eve, the first woman and source of all. Greek myth – where riddles emerge from philosophy.

Thus I put to you, with the humble evolution of sacred times now upon us, a bit of philosophy – deference to the observant; a few phrases; I beseech thee accept this modest gift – first four times throughout the course of day, the rest a lifetime guide, together ensures the wish be granted:

See the good in people, love will fill your eyes;
Make a friend, anyone can make an enemy;
Invoke understanding, it lessens conflict;
Lighten up, clouds don’t support much weight;
Exalt the worth in others, demonize none.

Share your food with the hungry, keeps your body slim;
Make a wish, then grant someone else’s;
Inform yourself, so that others will learn;
Lend a helping hand, you’ve got one to spare;
Eden is a promise, upon which the good collect.

Speak words of kindness, they’re sweet to the tongue;
Make a memory, they are the wealth of old age;
Inhabit wisdom, it’s the gateway to the spirit;
Learn the meaning, you’ll receive the gift;
Earnest feeling, conveys honest truth.

Step forth confidently, you never walk alone.
Make an effort, without it you’ve already failed;
Invite knowledge, it is a very generous guest;
Listen carefully, for this two ears were granted;
Embody grace, distinction will follow.

To all, Season’s Blessings and a Joyous Gift of Faith.
Have a very

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