I love driving and have driven almost every kind of car there is. I was privileged as a young man to drive a friend`s Porsche 911; and consider myself not only to be a good driver, but a safe one. So you can imagine my dismay and frustration when for almost a decade my father-in-law refused to let me drive his car. It`s not that I liked his car. It was simply that I did not understand why he did not trust me with his prize possession.
Am I my brother`s keeper?” is a much cited Biblical quotation that has been used in varied contexts from Shakespeare to urban movies. Most of the time I have heard this saying, the exponent is rarely taking responsibility; but in fact trying to divest the idea that to care and have compassion is not part of their immediate agenda. In our hedonistic culture caring for others has become more difficult. We see this in how we treat the aged of our society. How, due to our capitalists’ pursuits, we have no time or commitment to care, as we build institutions to do the caring on our behalf.
In Genesis 18, Abraham is told during a lavish meal that he and his wife, Sarah are going to at last have a child within the next year. The problem with this declaration is that both of them are self-admittedly, old, withered, and past having a baby. And as such, from Sarah`s side this news is not just ridiculous, but laughable. But the giver of this news asks a rhetoric question, “Is there anything too hard for the Lord?” The question for the reader is one where are minds would search for a situation God could not effect, could not fix; but from the questioner`s point of view and experience, “There is simply nothing too hard for God.”
One of the most beautiful experiences you can have is when you discover you have a true friend, the sort you can depend on in a crisis. There was no plan to ask him or her of anything, no obligation or duty to uphold. You just discovered that there are these amazing people, who through thick and thin, value you to such an extent that they refuse to leave you in the mire. They are your cheerleaders, supporters, and encouragers, motivators, who despite your flaws, or immediate crisis situation have decided I am not just going to remain with you until it is ok. But I am going to lift you up, and they want to see you in better position than the one they found you.
The period leading up to the last US presidential elections in 2007-2008 were exciting, engaging, and unprecedented times. Politics, which had taken its fair battering of deception and mistrust issues suddenly seemed to have us glued to potentially two firsts in American history: Either we were going to have the first Black president or the first woman president.
I don’t remember which Christmas it was, but this particular Christmas stood out to me for two reasons. Firstly, I counted twelve bin liners from the leftover wrapping paper from all my daughter’s presents. And secondly, I bought her an expensive electronic gift that I seemed to be more excited about than she did. Ordinarily, this would have passed as any other Christmas, but this Christmas I remember because having bought my daughter a very expensive electronic gift, she did not open this particular present, or at least did not acknowledge its existence.
The Christmas story has become a time of great joy and celebration to me. The carols, the candles, the giving of presents, the occasional mistletoe, and the smell of all things festive; just seems to bring out the child in me. Even if you are not particularly religious, Christmas seemingly stirs within us a little bit more humanity, a little more consideration of others than we would normally have.
Every day, even if I don’t believe in this guy when I turn on my computer it flashes me the date, implicitly acknowledging that whatever I believe, the birth of Jesus is so important if splits history in two parts. Everything that has happened on this planet falls into a two undeniable categories, before Christ of after Christ.