January 5th, 2007
Click here for a photo of and information
on this writer.
Click on the link below to send an e-mail
“If someone who has worldly means sees a brother in need
and refuses him compassion, how can the love of God remain in him?
Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.”
As I write this reflection it is about 10 days before Christmas
and I have just spent several hours running from store to store.
I’ve heard canned Christmas carols playing everywhere; the
religious displays seem as commercial as the Santa Clauses.
Today’s reading from St. John is a bracing antidote to the
abuse of the Christmas season. It reminds us of what this season
is supposed to be about. Maybe readers suffering from post-Christmas
lag will benefit from it as much as I did before the holiday.
I’m often struck by how we indulge in an orgy of giving before
the holiday but do little giving after it when it may be needed
more. Here are a few tried and true starter ideas for “loving
not in word or speech but in deed and truth.” These gifts
of time and caring might be our most important of the season.
• Review your Christmas card list then write
a real letter to Aunt Harriet or Grandpa Bill to supplement the
scrawled note and newsletter you just sent. Or call and chat. Ask
about the old days. I assign my journalism history students to do
this and it’s hard to say who enjoys the exercise more.
•Collect food for a pantry. People keep eating throughout
the winter. By March, the shelves of a lot of pantries are pretty
bare. Find a restaurant that would donate day-old baked goods to
a homeless shelter then collect and deliver the food once or twice
• Call someone with whom you are feuding. If it doesn’t
work, try again.
•Baby-sit for a parent who can’t afford a sitter or
give an hour’s break to someone caring for a shut-in or Alzheimer’s
patient. Walk the dog for someone who loves her pet but can’t
do that during winter.
I’m sure that readers will come up with lots more creative
ideas to supplement these obvious suggestions. Maybe we can even
ignite an old style Christopher (light just one little candle) reaction.
It’s not too late to celebrate the birth of Christ as He would
to the writer of this reflection.
Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook