Dec­o­rat­ing The Din­ing Room

McDonald County Press - - CHURCH - By Dr. Don Kuehle United Methodist, Re­tired Jack­son, MO DON KUEHLE IS A RE­TIRED UNITED METHODIST MIN­IS­TER WHO LIVES IN JACK­SON. OPIN­IONS EX­PRESSED ARE THOSE OF THE AU­THOR.

I re­mem­ber go­ing to my grand­par­ents’ house the day af­ter Christ­mas. I es­pe­cially looked for­ward to my grandma’s cook­ing. Their din­ing room would be aglow with a spe­cial spirit: can­dles in the win­dow, green­ery adorned the chan­de­lier, the ta­ble was cov­ered with a cran­berry-red table­cloth, Christ­mas nap­kins pro­claimed, “Peace on earth, good­will to­ward men,” and a poin­set­tia graced the cen­ter of the ta­ble.

From the kitchen arose the aroma of roast tur­key and dress­ing, can­died sweet pota­toes, caramel car­rots and fresh bread. Hmmm. There was also hot cof­fee or spiced tea to drink. I thought I was in heaven. As our fam­i­lies gath­ered around the fes­tive ta­ble, Grandma read the Christ­mas Story, Grandpa asked the bless­ing, and we all feasted!

Christ­mas Is A Fes­tive Sea­son — In the depths of dark­ness and de­spair, we stand in the glow of that Light that the forces of evil have never been able to ex­tin­guish. In times of fear and frus­tra­tion, we hear once more the an­gel’s as­sur­ance, “I bring you good news that will cause you to shout for joy and to dance in the streets. For the Sav­ior of us all is now among us and stands be­side us through all of life’s strug­gles. So cel­e­brate and shout for joy!”

Christ­mas Is A Time For Feast­ing — How tragic that mil­lions of peo­ple die from lack of food; chil­dren suf­fer from mal­nu­tri­tion. In the be­gin­ning, God cre­ated a world in which ev­ery in­di­vid­ual pro­duced more than enough for the good of all. Hunger and star­va­tion were un­known. Our self­ish­ness, greed and ha­tred have di­vided our world into the “haves” and the “havenots.” Christ­mas is the time to dec­o­rate our lives with the spirit of shar­ing, di­vide our bless­ings to feed the hun­gry, to work to elim­i­nate the self­ish­ness and greed that di­vides our world along lines of “feast” or “famine.” Christ­mas re­minds us that one day, God will in­vite both the “haves” and the “havenots” to the grand­est feast of all in His home.

As We Dec­o­rate — the din­ing room and the kitchen of our homes, so let us dec­o­rate these “rooms” in our daily lives with the can­dle­glow of Godly love, the green­ery of gen­tle­ness and kind­ness, and the cen­ter­piece of faith. Let the aroma of for­give­ness, gra­cious­ness and com­pas­sion fill our lives to over­flow­ing. So that these fra­grances will flow out from us to en­rich the lives of others and change the whole world for the good!

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