Finding perspective through Christmas, in unsettling times ⇔
by Michael Krigline, Dec 1984. krigline.com ⇔
I wrote this poem about “the first Christmas” two days before Christmas 1984, one year after I graduated from college. I was still unemployed as I had been for nine of the previous 12 months. It was also written just a few months before my first trip to China (though, of course, I had no idea at the time that I would one day find a rewarding career teaching English in China!).
I found it in my files the other day, and I am posting this poem now (Christmastime 2008) because many of our friends and former students around the world are being affected by the world financial crisis. Many people have lost their jobs, or are facing the fear of losing a job or income. Our daughter’s income has dropped, and my son’s tuition is rising while my income isn’t, so we also face an uncertain economic situation. Maybe this poem will help us keep things in perspective during this (and future) times of crisis.
Like much of life the first Christmas was not a very joyous occasion-- except from Heaven's perspective. To human, finite minds it was a time of pain tedious travel crude accommodations fear... even death. But to those (like Simeon and the angels) whose eyes were open to a different perspective, it was a time of wonder anticipation salvation deliverance fulfilled hopes and great joy. Yet isn't that just like God? To turn despised shepherds into Divine messengers labor pain into a source of healing a "silent night" into an insuppressible song; to bring peace from uncertainty an open invitation from a closed inn and unsearchable love from unfounded fear. From the very beginning Jesus was teaching us leading us turning our world upside down intervening at our level to give us a place at His for ever more.
(For more information about Christmas, see these Christmas pages (underlined topics are on EFLsuccess.com or Krigline.com; others are on our older website): the traditional Christmas story, who is Santa (圣诞老人)?, candy canes, Christmas Perspectives (poem), and the pre-Christmas Advent season. Also look for Christmas wallpaper on our old website. You’ll also find movie study guides on this website (or our old site) for some great holiday films: A Snoopy/Charlie Brown Christmas, Last Holiday, White Christmas, The Grinch, Christmas Carol, It’s a Wonderful Life)
For more information about Christianity, check out https://peacewithgod.net/
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