Your family is a Christmas treeĀ 

 

Wikimedia Commons

A newsroom argument over whether colored lights or white lights look better on the Christmas tree:

“Colored lights make a tree look messy,” I said.

“Christmas trees are like families. They’re supposed to be messy.”

It effectively ended the debate, and those words have been jingling around my head since.

Family drama can place a strain on this mistletoed holiday. When people bounce from house to house, relative to relative, old arguments are dredged up, new ones spring to life.

As we near the cusp of Christmas, remember this is a season of great love, of the greatest love. No earthly thing can overwhelm that.

I encourage you to remember the reason we gather these next two days (or, for those with larger families, for the next week, repeatedly). This is a time based in love. It is a time to put aside squabbles and arguments and drama. The homemade ornaments on the tree are far more important than what is under them.

A Christmas tree is like a family. It may be big or small, messy or neat, picturesque or haphazard. No matter the kind, it is twinkling and loved all the same.

Merry Christmas. Peace on earth.

 

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After Orlando: An open letter to the Christian community

I am not even sure where to begin. Tragedy has struck Orlando, and America as a whole. My heart breaks for these victims and for their families.

49 dead. 53 injured.

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Image originally from Jetblue.com

It both matters and does not matter that the victims of this tragedy were members of the LGBT community.

It matters because of their attacker. Omar Mateen reportedly pledged alliance to an Islamic terrorist organization. Islam has long been known to condemn homosexuality and identities related to it. Pretending these victims were not in a gay club when they were shot would be an insult to them. Pretending that is not why they were attacked is ignorant.

Do not sweep this fact under the rug. It is important to remember who they identified as, because it was the reason they were targeted.

At the same time, these identities, whether they were gay, bi, or trans, also do not matter at all. Even to Christians, it should not matter that these victims were members of the LGBT community. This could have happened at any club, at any school, at any supermarket, at any church.

Victims are victims are victims are victims.

Mourn them. Do not qualify your grief. Do not add an addendum. Forego the “even though.”

This is not the time to get on a pulpit. This is the time to stand beside people who are hurting. Show Christ through love and support.

Christ suspended judgement and showed love.

In this time of grief, do the same.