Today, if you work at HBU (and all Christendom wishes they work here), then you are half-way to Christmas break.
Just hearing that news makes my heart beat faster and causes a smile of almost Biden proportions.
This is not because I don’t like the term, I love it, but Christmas? Christmas is an outer reminder of the fact of the Coming of Jesus. We are half-way to the Holy Day, half way to the Holidays. The work is so good and enjoyable that I would not rush the Holiday, but still it is coming and that is happy.
When I reached middle age, about thirty-five, I had the same feeling. I was half-way to Paradise. I enjoy living, but still there is the City of God coming.
Recently, I read a piece on the New Atheists that said they were changing our view of dying. New Atheists aren’t cheerful about dying, but “realistic.” They fight to live and who can blame them? At best, they face a dying of the only pleasure they know.
My fear is that they fight like hell only to end up there.
Instead, there is the example of my grandparents. They loved life while it was there to be loved, but then laid down their lives when it was time. They knew when the time came somehow. Death was not romantic, it was difficult and painful, but it was not hopeless. Death, when it finally came, was like a final surgery that healed them from the deepest human ill.
I am now, in all probability, a good bit more than half-way to the Holiday, but like any term I know the Final Exam comes first. As a result, I don’t want to rush the coming of Paradise anymore than most of my students are ready today for their final exams. Christmas is coming, but there is work to be done in order to be able to enjoy the Hols.
And so today, half-way to Christmas, God pauses me to think, pray, and love my neighbor.