Having not had real internet access last week due to being away, I ran across this series from blogging PC-USA, California pastor, Mark D. Roberts, done the week after Christmas on “Christmas Reflections.” They are all good, especially the last one regarding “Celebrating Christmas in a broken world.”

Click the above links and check them out if you can.
I was especially heartened by this quote from the Reflections post:

“So how can we celebrate Christmas in a broken world?

What we mustn’t do is pretend. Christmas is not a time to pretend as if everything’s right with the world. This is tempting, but ultimately self-defeating and contrary to the Christian gospel.

Above: The beautiful and peaceful Christmas lights reflecting in one of the lakes in Irvine, where I live.

Below: A picture from Banda Aceh in Indonesia, taken just a year ago after the tsunami destroyed the city and killed thousands of its residents.

So what should we do? Well, for one thing, I’d suggest that we allow Christmas to increase our longing. So many of us live in a stupor, accepting the brokenness of our world as a given, rather than as something in need of divine mending. The Christmas theme of peace on earth should increase our longing for peace on earth. It should augment our dissatisfaction with violence and injustice. It should amplify our hope for the future, even as it motivates us to be peacemakers wherever we can.

….As important as this is, it isn’t the end of the story. There is also the promise of peace on earth, of the broken world made whole. The time will come when heaven and nature will indeed sing the song they were intended to sing by their Creator. What God did through the Incarnation is the beginning of true peace on earth, even though it’s not yet fully here. The brokenness of our world, and, indeed, of our own lives, drives us to the only One who brings wholeness. And this is the One whose humble birth we celebrate at Christmas.”

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