At Christmas


I compared notes with a friend at work about the kinds of music we’d been working on at our churches, Hers, being one of the largest congregations in the area, just finished doing a Christmas cantata which was, no doubt, grand. I explained that our choir is small with limited abilities, but we do our best. Each of us felt a strain on our vocal chords.
Our conversation came around to the fact that even though we know (feel every day) that our church uplifts us (in various ways), we agreed that we’re not the aggressive type that can promote or “sell” that spirit to others. Some who believe in evangelism would say we’re not doing our part.
No two of us can respond to spiritual motivation in the same way. My co-worker, in her youthful, uncomplicated way pointed out that it’s OK. Some folks are cut out to be evangelical and the rest of us need to assure those people and be supportive.
I’ve pondered this most of my adult life, wondering just why I go to church. If there’s a checklist for being a Christian and, say, I need to score at least a five out of 10 to measure up, I would be buzzed off the contestant platform. I was born into a Protestant family, but perhaps I’m viewing things from a seat somewhere on the fence. Some would say that you can’t be mediocre about believing in Christ, but I ask, “Aren’t there as many different kinds of Christians as there are believers?”
Since we are all individuals, no two of us see or feel anything in exactly the same way. I don’t believe everyone in the world needs to be a Christian. I guess I’m looking for a society of just plain brotherly love. Maybe this means I’m a humanist? I feel that people of every kind of faith have a right to think what they think and feel what they feel as long as that includes feeling respect for their fellow man. If that sounds optimistically rosy, what better time of year to be that way?
That’s why my strained vocal chords will be singing about a baby who was born to save us all, and, with no conflict of interest, I wish “Merry Christmas” to agnostics, atheists, Buddhists, Catholics, Christian Scientists, Confucianists, Druze, Hindus, Islams, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jews, Kimbanguists, Mormons, Muslims, Parsis, Protestants, Seventh Day Adventists, Shintoists, Sikhs, Taoists, and Zoroastrians (sorry if I missed any facets of faith) – see how many ways there are to look at things?
I grew up to believe that the Christ-child believed there is a place for us all. I believe that, too.

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