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Friday, December 25, 2015

Give Me That Old Time Religion

Christmas Eve Connie and I attended the Christmas service held on the Westminster Suncoast retirement campus. There were over 100 people in attendance.  The Christmas story was interspersed with carol singing led by the choir.  Chaplain Stephen gave a brief but characteristically trenchant sermon.  We closed with communion and with each individual holding a lighted candle and singing together “Silent Night”.  As I looked at the flickering little flame on the candle I held, the flame seemed so fragile and vulnerable.  Earlier in the day a friend and I were discussing those who drive cars that vibrate deep bass and that blast out all in the neighborhood.  Such drivers seem to be saying “I am going to play my music and I don’t give a rat’s ass whether it irritates you or not.”  Sometimes I think Christians witnessing for Christ need a thick-skinned and brash audacity–“I am going to live according to the way of Christ...tough shit if you don’t like it.”  Certainly Jesus was not crucified for being a timid and fragile flame.

Connie and I sat next to each other and held hands during some of the service.  Sitting there, I sketched out in my mind how all during my life I have been surrounded and buttressed by believers–often receiving their nurturing love and goodwill.  The priceless value of belief and faith swept over me along with deep appreciation for Jesus and his long line of dedicated followers.

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