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Thursday, December 22, 2016


I drove past a Catholic Hospital on my way to work this morning, and I saw a lovingly crafted Nativity Scene.

I felt a bit more in the Christmas mood just seeing it since you do not see them very often anymore.

After all this is the Age of Enlightenment, of Sophistication, of Religious Tolerance ...

Unless you are a Christian ...

then, keep your beliefs to yourself, thank you very much!

Kindly stay hidden

and do not bother us with your world-view ...

though you are a lout if you do not give us the freedom of expression to beat you over the head with our beliefs.

But that is fitting in an odd way actually ...

The first Christians in the Roman Empire were hunted and persecuted.

Say at an inn, you sat across from a traveler and wondered from his words if he were a fellow believer,

you took your finger and drew the top swirl of the fish image from the condensation of your drink ...

If he completed the bottom image of the crude fish with his own finger, 

you knew you were in the company of a fellow believer.

The Greek word for fish is "ichthys."

 As early as the first century, Christians made an acrostic from this word: 

Iesous Christos Theou Yios Soter, i.e. Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.

The fish has plenty of other theological overtones as well, for Christ fed the 5,000 with 2 fishes and 5 loaves.

So if we are now once again cordoned off because of our beliefs, we are in good company.

But we can still reach out quietly in Christian Love, 

giving comfort and compassion during this season, silently living the world-view in which we believe.

Once again, I end with Alan Paton's wise words:

“There is only one way in which one can endure man's inhumanity to man and that is to try, in one's own life, to exemplify man's humanity to man.”

Now, for a bit of Christmas cheer:


  1. Hi Roland - thanks for this in so many ways ... a helpful read and reminder of life ... then the Panda and his friend ... a delight! The Nativity Scene does look amazing - no wonder you stopped to look more closely ...

    I do hope you can get some time off ... but I suspect you'll be out helping others and making sure there's comfort in their lives ... with thoughts - Hilary

    1. No time off for me this Christmas weekend, but ill patients need rare blood all the time. Happy Christmas!!

  2. Roland, you nailed it on the head. Couldn't have said it better myself.
    Hope that Christmas spirit stays with you.

    1. On the roads at Christmas Eve, I listen to A CHRISTMAS CAROL narrated by Tim Curry as Scrooge -- now there is a Christmas Spirit producing audio book!! :-)