December 24th, 2007

All That Glitters
By Neil M. Travis, Montana

We all have pondered what makes a fish take a shiny bauble as if it were something edible. We add a bit of tinsel, a gold bead, something - anything flashy to attract the attention of a fish with the thought that the flash and glitter will turn its head and open its mouth. It's all a fraud of course; a hoax, a scam, a nasty fraud, intended to deceive a naíive fish, and no harm done. How much like them are we; naíive and easily fooled by what glitters?

It's Christmas time, and the entire world has gone off, like an adolescent trout chasing a Parmachene Belle, a shiny bauble offered by the skillful merchants of the world as a substitute, a hoax, a scam, a nasty fraud, a poor substitute for the beauty of the real thing.

It's not The Holiday Season, it's Christmas. It's not Xmas, it's Christmas. They are not Holiday Trees, Holiday Gifts, but Christmas Trees and Christmas Gifts. Without Christ in Christmas there is no reason to celebrate, no reason for a holiday, no reason for the season.

When the Grinch tried to steal Christmas he came to realize that "it did not come from a store, maybe Christmas, he thought, was a little bit more." Maybe Christmas is a little bit more than presents, and trees, jolly old white-bearded men, reindeer, and the gross national product. Maybe it's about a gift, not one that comes from a store neatly wrapped in brightly colored paper and tied up with ribbon, but a child born in a humble place some 2,000 years ago. Maybe it's about family, and friends, warm wishes, and memories of the blessings of a life well lived.

This Christmas season it is my wish for all my readers that they take the time to turn their hearts and their minds to the Christ of Christmas. May this Christmas day find you in the company of those that you love, and may you never forget the indescribable gift that God gave to mankind on that first Christmas day. ~ Neil M. Travis, Montana/Arizona

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