Surviving Christmas

The big news this weekend has been the conclusion of the World Cup. Described by commentators as ‘the greatest final ever’, Argentina won thanks to the ‘magical magnificent Messi’… surviving early defeat against Saudi Arabia, a draw and penalty shoot out against Holland in the quarter-finals, and France’s heroic efforts in the final.

Argentina survived and were victorious.

Our evening news followed this with a report from the Canadian Arctic just outside Churchill, Manitoba… Wildlife biologist Dr Karyn Rode says. ‘Back in the 1980s, polar bears would only spend a couple of weeks onshore each summer. Now, many spend nearly two months ashore each year.’

Due to global warming the sea-ice-free season is lengthening, leaving bears unable to hunt for long periods. They’re concerned; can polar bears can survive?

Yesterday looked at pictures from friends in Viet Nam… interesting looking food, beautiful scenery and magnificent buildings. There were also pictures of American tanks and aircraft – reminders of tragic war, senseless killing, survivors, memories…

My mind went to Ukraine… ongoing conflict, victims, there may be survivors but they’ll never forget.

How do I survive Christmas?

…On Saturday a group of us provided a Christmas dinner for 60; there were crackers, Christmas hats and crafts… Father Christmas giving presents.

…Yesterday was our church family carol service; adults and children ate pastries, dressed as angels, wise men and sheep, enjoyed puppets and sung carols.

…I chatted to a wide variety of people… good friends who are busy, tired, successful, frustrated, grieving, uncertain…  I learnt about joys and anxieties of work and families, concerns about new homes, ongoing student life…

…I’ve mused on a young village girl engaged to a carpenter… unexpected events involving angels… the politics of census and insecure kings… shepherds and stars… the boundary between legend and fact… values embodied in ancient truth… a message of light, life and hope.

Surviving Christmas for me? Sharing good things with others… meeting good people and understanding their stories… re-engaging with a surviving story.

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