Christmas in this season

There are random days I can’t believe Christmas only comes once a year.  That thought tends to happen when I’m wishing the world was nicer and more generous and maybe even a place of warm light and authentic peace.  Not so much the defining elements of this season . . . post-Christmas, pre-spring fever, threshold of daylight savings hour loss and daylight gain, pre-March madness, post the Chiefs should have been in the superbowl . . . and it’s going to snow on Thursday.  Oh, and Ukraine is still being invaded by a madman for whom compassion, logic, and humanity have been lost.

And a young man brought a gun to school in Olathe last week, a school administrator and SRO officer were shot and injured now recuperating at home, and the young man remains in critical condition in the hospital.  And there was a shooting outside a high school in Des Moines, Iowa on Monday.  6 teenagers have been charged with the drive-by killing of one student and critically wounding two others.

We’re losing our kids somehow, that’s how it feels.  Get ready for an “o.k. boomer” moment.  When I was young we had fire drills and tornado drills . . . you finish the thought.  We’re losing our kids – violence against each other, dying by violence at their own hand.  It’s an access to weapons issue AND it’s way deeper than an access to weapons issue.  I shot a bird on a telephone wire with a BB gun when I was in 6th grade and have not particularly wanted to be a part of gun-holding anytime since.  Probly with or without that experience, it never occurred to me to access one of my dad’s hunting rifles for any reason, nor seemingly did it for any of my classmates and their dad’s firearms for anything but hunting or target shooting, at least that I know.  Why not?  What was different?

Our video games consisted of Atari “pong”, sorta like tennis on a screen without being able to make the ball go faster, slower, or spin; and Pac-Man – waka-waka-waka . . . They had one at the Pizza Hut, fun times.  

Have we lost our humanity to our screens?  Interacting with screens is much less messy and doesn’t require the nuance of interacting with all the body language, the sometimes awkward tears or the too-loud embarrassing laughter.  On the screen you don’t have to see my too crooked nose from my sister throwing the softball too hard and me not catching it with my glove.  You don’t have to see me in my “big” girl clothes, or my “medium I could go up or down at any moment” clothes, or my “hey look at me now I’m back off deserts” clothes.  Do we have a big social media device bonfire and that solves everything???  Do we have a big turn back your firearms and receive big dollars event and that solves everything???  Do we have a big vaccine against any kind of violence against any kind of humanity at any time forever and that solves everything???

Maybe solving everything in one fell swoop isn’t working so much.  But neither is not investing in meaningful steps with appropriate limits to firearm access, increasing financial investment and social acceptance of counseling and other emotional and psychological resources, AND finding and resourcing creative and consistent ways of social media balance, safeguards, and a re-prioritizing of direct human relationship . . . including adults and even pastors.  Social media as one more tool we utilize to enhance life, not an identity to limit or destroy life – figuring that out might be great.

So Christmas.  I suppose it might lessen the effect if we tried having it more than once a year.  Plus the theological ramifications – was Jesus born twice?  OOOOOooooor, did Mary and Joseph celebrate his half birthday in July and no one really wrote about it because they thought M and J were spoiling him too much and the neighbors tsk-tsked at what Jesus was going to be like as an adult if his parents kept giving him all those gifts, you know, one day he might even say, “I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly . . . “ 


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