It’s December 1st. December. Not long ago it was January 1st and we were having trouble writing the correct year on our checks. We were making promises that THIS is the year we would lose weight, get ahold of our financial situations, take that class, or reach some other goal. It wasn’t long ago that we wondered what this year might bring, and now we know. There were many things that happened this year that could not have expected. Painful losses and joyful events. This year saw two of my best friends dissolve a twenty year marriage … and also the birth of my grandson Blake. Joy and pain, sorrow and laughter, struggle and triumph. That is the essence of life in a fallen world where the Kingdom is moving. As we enter into the holiday season we are aware that here also are tears … both of laughter and hurt. December reminds us of our past and acts as a doorway into our future. It is a time of introspection, regret, and hope. December.
Back in 1860 on this date Charles Dickens published the first installment of what would become one of his best known works, Great Expectations. It was published in installments in the magazine All the Year Round. He is one of my favorite authors. I enjoy reading every December his Christmas Carol. No movie adaptation even comes close. I think it’s hard to make movies of his novels because of the intricate detail they contain. And of course when someone turns it into a musical we get the dreadful Oliver! Dickens is best read slowly, and aloud, with a fake British accent if you’re up for it. John Grishom is to be gulped like a cold coca-cola on a hot summer day, Dickens is to be sipped slowly like the last bottle of a rare vintage wine.
Today is World AIDS Day. It was a long time ago that AIDS was regarded as strickly a disease among the homosexual population. The AIDS epidemic has claimed 2.1 million lives in 2007. It is not only a sexually transmitted disease, it is claiming the lives of thousands of children around the world. AIDS is now the leading cause of death for African American women ages 25 to 34. 6,000 children a day lose a parent to AIDS. It is true that if God’s plans for sexuality were followed by the world, these kinds of diseases could dimish greatly. Jesus is still the answer for the world today.
Yesterday we said goodbye to Evel Knievel, probably the best known dare devil in the world. I remember watching him on television. In one movie version of his life he was portrayed by the ultra-tan George Hamilton. Pete has a report in THIS POST that Knievel had made a decision for Christ, told about it at Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral, and hundreds also reconsidered their relationship to Christ. I didn’t know!
Happy angst-ridden and neurotic birthday to Woody Allen, who turns 72 today. Many wishes for a hole-in-one for 68 year old golfer Lee Trevino. A melodic birthday to Dianne Lennon, one of The Lennon Sisters. Bette Midler is 62 today. A waxy birthday to Marie Tussaud (1761), museum proprietress and creator of wax sculptures. We’ll sing a smooth soulful Happy Birthday to Lou Rawls (1935). Theological birthday pleasantries to N. T. Wright (1948).
Thanks for reading,