Today we celebrate the greatest life ever lived, laid down, and picked up again.
It is entirely appropriate that we do this.
Today should not be a peculiar mood. All the great and meaningful things this season reminds us to observe, we should observe every day. Yes, that’s difficult, but it is the highest mountain that has the best view.
Many of you respect, adore, and cherish the memory of great men and women — defenders, artists, writers, presidents, scholars, saints, explorers, scientists, kings — who themselves respected, adored, and cherished the Man for whom Christmas was named.
I submit if you want to know what made those heroes truly great, you must look past them, back through the centuries, to Bethlehem.
There, like today, you will find skepticism and wonder.
I invite you to consider the latter.
It is spring in the Northern hemisphere when we took this image. Over the winter, snow and ice have inexorably covered the dunes. Unlike on Earth, this snow and ice is carbon dioxide, better known to us as dry ice.
When the sun starts shining on it in the spring, the ice on the smooth surface of the dune cracks and escaping gas carries dark sand out from the dune below, often creating beautiful patterns. On the rough surface between the dunes, frost is trapped behind small sheltered ridges.
What is worship?
I am pretty sure many of you really have no idea what the word worship really means.
If you think worship means being joylessly enslaved to something that angrily dictates your every breath under penalty of a lightning bolt — congratulations! You’re a pagan afraid of the imaginary Zeus, or Jupiter, or Thor.
You have no idea what worship really is.
Worship is Love fusing with the ultimate source of itself.
Worship is going home.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
If you still don’t know the difference between actual Christianity and, well…
That’s on you.