Sometimes, pictures can say more than a thousand words. This one provides such a case. You see the warmth of smiling faces, a homely set table and the light that is so peculiar for many of our homes during this season. Such was the Christmas party of our seniors at our house in Jamesburg.
Years ago of course, one could have been justified in finding my observations somewhat tacky. The Advent season was just not meant to instill warm and positive feelings in us. Theologically, the entire theme of penance and preparation for eternal life comes to mind.
But our times have changed. For us as Protestant Christians, penance and eternal life make only sense when viewed through the lens of God’s unconditional love and the grace of His forgiveness. This, however, is something we seem to lose more and more in our society. Instead, civil life reflects a lot of anger, of “Know-it-all” and “You-owe-me”. And more often than not entire groups — like our city administration here in New Brunswick — find themselves under attack from high-handed individuals. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, the retiring general secretary of our denomination, said recently about the necessity for change “in the rancorous, spiteful nature of public and political discourse.”
Now look again at the picture of the Christmas party of our seniors, the “Free Spirits”. I believe there is quite a message expressed around that table. Thank God for our seniors!