Friday, December 27, 2019

A Christmas Peace to Peace on Earth.


Continuing on Sarge's theme from the past few days here.  He's been sharing some excellent carols, and I thought I'd do the same.  A friend shared this one with me and while I didn't recognize the video at first, never really knowing who the artist was,, I realized it contains one of my favorite songs of the season.    



The video seems to combine two stories from The Great War.  I'm nowhere near the historian that my co-bloggers are, but to this novice, it overlays the Christmas truce of 1914 with the tragic results of the battles, and the use of Chlorine Gas, in the Flanders area of Belgium in 1915.  The tragic death there inspired the John McCrae poem- In Flanders Field.  That poem has been posted here once or twice on Veterans day so I won't put it up myself, mainly because this is about the Christmas season, vice Armistice Day.  Think more poinsettias vice poppies, but I digress.  Either way, it reminds me of a sentiment I saw recently, that thanks to their Christmases back then, we're able to have our Christmas today.  I'm not exactly sure where the footage is from.  Probably some movie depicting the truce.  Anyone recognize it? 

The family manger scene

The stories blend together well though because of McCrae's apparent preoccupation with death.  Ok, that sentence sounds horrible, but death is just the crossover point from life's struggles to the peace and salvation that follows.  War is death, yet at Christmas, we are given the gift of eternal life through the birth of Jesus Christ.  I need to focus on this right now as there's plenty of bad news that feels like it's drowning out the Good News.

That's not easy to do, with a 24 hour news cycle that profits from hate, division, death, and tragedy. Ooh, sorry, more darkness. And we have politicians that leverage all of that for votes and power.  Ugh, even more darkness- don't worry, I'm done.  So while it's Christmas (and the rest of the year if possible), we should try to turn down all of that and focus on all the goodness in the world, on the saving grace that came to us on that very special birthday the other day.  There are plenty of good news stories out there, of heroes, of good Samaritans, of healing graces, and joyful happenings, but we just need to look for them.  Maybe that's a resolution we could strive for- to seek out more goodness, more of the happy stories.  For all its negatives, social media can actually be a good place to see some of that joy.  And a ton of cat videos.

 A lot of the world celebrates Christmas, even if they don't believe in Christ.  It's a fun and joyous season, even if it is far too commercial.  But what about the true reason for the season?  I think it's actually very universal.  If we can focus on the lessons Jesus taught, and the tenants of Christianity, those 10 commandments and such, and set aside the differences in how we worship, the sins and failings of church leaders, we'd all be better off.

In a movie from a few years back called Gifted, there was a scene I liked.  The biological father of a brilliantly gifted girl was striving for custody of her and they had an exchange about Jesus.

Mary Adler : What about Jesus?
Frank Adler : Love that guy. Do what he says.
Mary Adler : But, is he God?
Frank Adler : I don't know. I have an opinion. But that's my opinion and I could be wrong. So why would I screw up yours? Use your head. But don't be afraid to believe in things either.             Source

"Love that guy.  Do what he says."  I love that line.  Even if you don't believe in Jesus as our savior, he gave us some amazing lessons.  And if we follow them, the world really would be a better place.  And maybe we could even bring about something that would be a gift for all of us:

Source
 One final* Christmas song that I love.  And Faith Hill isn't hard to look at either.

  

Merry Christmas from me and my wife, and a joyous, peaceful and less divisive New Year to all the staff and readers here at The Chant.




* If one's not enough, here's another I love.

19 comments:

  1. Excellent posting Tuna.....solid vid choices, Enya has been a favorite for years....shall try to remember "do what he says" when the blood pressure rises from participating in that news cycle. A most Merry Christmas to you and yours along with a Joyous New Year sir.

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  2. Powerful stuff, Tuna.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours.

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  3. Joyeaux Noel to you too. I'm glad you liked it. The lessons of Christianity are universal even if you don't believe. Even atheists can get behind treating each other fairly, not stealing, honesty, etc even if they don't believe in the first commandment.

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  4. Happy New Year to all.

    Great post, Tuna.

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    1. Thanks. Maybe I was inspired by something divine!

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  5. Christ's message of 'Dude, just mellow and try to be good' (yeah, simplification, distillation, transmogrification of the New Testament, but that's kinda what it boils down to) is a good one.

    Try to be like him, to forgive, to not fly off so often but it's okay if we do because we're not perfect (but we still need to control our temper even when really bad things happen) and such. Yeah, definitely. Love that guy, do what he says.

    And, really, try to do what Joseph did. Stuck in a situation not of his making, he still stuck with Mary and forged a family out of hardship, to eventual success.

    And try to do what Mary did. Unwanted issues not of her choosing affected her body. She stuck with it.

    Sure, the Holy Family's story isn't all sunshine, roses, and puppies and kittens. It's a hard story, with threats of death and eventually death striking it. But, overall, given all the carp thrown their way, well, they did good. The two raised children (well, at least one,) and they dealt with the premature death of their first child. Which is a difficult struggle for any family to deal with.

    As to Christmas carols (songs of a religious nature) and Christmas songs, not hard to like Faith Hill, or the Celtic Woman and the ladies that soloed off of them, or Enya. Seay is really good, too. Josh Groban does very good on his versions, Andrea Bocelli also very good. And, not surprisingly in real life, but surprisingly if you only listen to the actual radio, there's a lot of really good Christian music out there. Wife's been accumulating songs and found some really great music that isn't 'A Reggae Christmas' or some other chither or maulk like that.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours.

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    1. Great point Beans- the entire Holy Family is a lesson of faith, sacrifice, selfless servitude for us to follow.

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    2. The bravest human that ever lived was a 14 year old Jewish girl. What awesome responsibility she accepted!

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  6. The Kings (how many ever there were) gave gifts to the new born, we give gifts this time of year to commemorate that wonderful time. The baby ultimately gave the greatest gift - His life - that we might approach God the Father, justified. “Just as if I’d never sinned”! The best gift ever given.

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  7. The story is all about giving, without the expectation of anything in return.
    I have no problem keeping it simple.
    I pray for everyone, withe extra prayers for the cynics and those who don’t believe... and the folks who don’t use their turn signals, or use their cell phones while driving, or...

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    1. The gift of karma would be nice for them!

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  8. I read a little more on Flanders Fields and it is now the common term for that area, not just the poem. But the poem did a contribute to it becoming commonplace.

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  9. Super post Tuna, great music and great thoughts to ponder.

    On the good news front, we're about to be smacked by a winter storm out here in almost-Wyoming. The good news is that "all the scientists" are zero for a zillion in predicting the end of winter and the end of the planet. Seriously, some of those cats should rent a window and look outside from time to time. The better news is that the days, which haven't yet come to an end as predicted, are now getting longer. Pitchers and catchers report in 45 days.

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    1. Yes, but the 2030 season is in jeopardy due to the earth being destroyed!

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  10. What a super post, and what super replies it generated! Well Done, That Tuna!

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  11. Sure did have a gust of dusty wind come through here, very suddenly.
    Heltau

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