So this is Christmas. Eve.
Christmas is a special time in a lot of different ways.
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For one, it’s a time for family. As I write this, we’ve been following my Air Force son’s progress as he travels home for Christmas from his base. Although we’ve seen him a couple of times, he hasn’t been home since he left for Basic Military Training in the middle of August.
The airmen in training often leave en masse for Christmas and New Year’s in what is termed “The Exodus.” This year’s Exodus was a bit suspenseful due to the massive winter storm that is blanketing much of the country. Many flights are delayed or canceled leaving many Christmas travelers to promise their loved ones, “I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams.”
I’m not ashamed to say that I get misty when I hear that song this year. The old WWII carol has taken on a new meaning with my own son serving almost a thousand miles away. He is stateside and not in combat, but I have new appreciation and sympathy for those who have endured such hardships… on both sides of the oceans.
Ethan did make it home, but it was a long day of traveling that didn’t go as originally planned. His trip is a story in itself, suffice it to say, as we pilots sometimes joke, “Time to spare? Go by air!”
All that brings me to hope, another special aspect of Christmas. Many of us are hoping to see our loved one or hoping that flight doesn’t cancel. Kids are hoping for that special toy.
But the ultimate meaning of Christmas is a much deeper hope. It’s the hope that God has given us through the Christ child.
Jesus not only gives us hope for eternal life, but hope for love and acceptance within this life. Christians are not perfect, I’ve written several times over the past year or so about our failings, particularly within the political realm. We need to try to do better, but our failings as humans don’t undermine the historical validity of Biblical story. Erick Erickson, someone I’ve had my differences with over the past year, covered that well yesterday.