State of (Our) Union, 2019



December 25,
Winter, 2019
Yes, here it is.
The Christmas Day letter. The latter-day Christmas card substitute chosen by lazy souls who don’t like to address envelopes. Lick stamps. Write letters- all that.
Instead, the lavishly illustrated message.
Check that. Not so lavish-

Just this recent photo of two who have become one, taken by a dutiful sister, in the comfort of Mom’s room at the local old-folks-home/retirement center/nursing home/geriatric village. Pick one.
We had the privilege of dining with 91-year-old Mom, and dutiful sister (her husband was indisposed thanks to a touch of sinusitis). The four of us ate our fried chicken, salads, and dessert, and talked of many things.
Memories abounded.
At my age, I’ve collected an abundance.
What is Christmas?
Seems like a no-brainer. Celebration of the birth of the Messiah, Jesus. A glitzy holiday filled with stuffing one’s face, and yanking brightly-colored wrapping from boxes and sacks filled with stuff.
Stuff that might be needed, and stuff that might not.
A chance to gather as family and friends to feast and to fellowship.
A day off- unless you have to work.
Why celebrate Jesus’s birth?
Some of us think the fact of his entry into this world of joy and woe, signifies a great deal.
Peace. Love. Forgiveness. Second- and third-chances. Reconciliation. Reasons to sing and to celebrate. Healing.

Then, there’s this:

Those little boys. Do they know what lies ahead? Does anyone really, except for the unchanging, unbending, immutable fact of life? No.
Nor did Jesus, as a baby, know what was ahead.
We do- or not. We can ignore it, disbelieve it, scoff at it. But we know what we believe, and rejoice that we have hope this year.
And every year.
Meanwhile, back in Goessel:
We think of you- family, friends, loved ones- and pray that all is well for you and yours, even if all is NOT well in this world of joy and strife.
Never has been, never will be.
But that’s another story.
Steve and Sandy