With both sets of grandparents now deceased, my father deceased, my mother living 3,000 miles away and my brother farther than that, I must admit that I struggle with my emotions at Christmas. My own children are wonderful (of course) and the in-laws are, er, well, let’s not go there (JK – my in-laws are THE BEST).

           But, in spite of my immense blessings, I always seem to experience a not-so-subtle sense of aloneness during this time of year.

           Elijah lost his first tooth; Micah wants to be baptized; I arranged (and wired) my new garage to be just like the one I grew up working in—the one my dad spent most of his free time in when he wasn’t riding his motorcycle. Each of these events prompted me to reach for the phone to call dad with the news. Strange. He passed from this life almost ten years ago (June, 1998).

          My prayer this Christmas is that God will reign in our hearts. That my children will love Him more next year than they did this year. That my wife will love me even though my hair is turning gray, my back aches more than it used to, and my energy decreases a little more each Christmas.

          And I pray that God will bless you not only at Christmas but throughout the New Year. May we each grow in our faith, deepen in our commitment to serve Him, and broaden our ability to share His Peace with a world that seems bent on hatred, violence, and corruption.

          Merry Christmas.