O bid our sad divisions cease – Christmas 2021

O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
O bid our sad divisions cease,
And be thyself our king of peace.

Sometimes the words to Christmas songs just hit differently in some years than others. (Technically, having grown up Catholic, this is an Advent song, not a Christmas song, but getting hung up on semantics and denominational differences is pretty much the opposite of what I’m going to say here.) “Bid our sad divisions cease”… that pretty much describes what needs to happen in the world right now. Not only are there the usual wars and conflicts between nations that have been going on for years, but here in the United States we no longer agree on the ideals that this nation was founded on, and even in the Church there are very sharp disagreements on how to apply the teachings of Jesus to the world of the 21st century.

I pray for revival in 2022. I pray that the world will know that they need Jesus, and that they will come to him. I pray that you will show me how I can be part of this revival here where I live. I pray that I will remember that the lost ones around me don’t need a political party, a candidate, a philosophy, or a lifestyle, but that they need Jesus. We are all sinners in need of a savior. I pray, Jesus, you will show me how to walk that balance of speaking the truth about sin, yet loving people where they are, just as you did.

Merry Christmas, all. Rejoice, rejoice. Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

(P.S. I have no particular attachment to this recording of the song; it was just the first one in the YouTube search results where they included the verse in question.)

A Thanksgiving reminder from God.

Yesterday, on my way to Plumdale for Thanksgiving, I ate at an In-N-Out Burger in Stockdale. I noticed an employee, a guy who was probably in his 20s, cleaning tables and such, and taking time to hold the door open for entering customers. I asked him how long this location had been open, I knew it was new, and he said three months. I told him about trying to go to as many different In-N-Out Burgers as possible (that story will come in DLTDGB year 4), and how this was my 124th. He liked that and said that he had never heard of anything like that. I told him that that would give me something interesting to say to the host if I get on Jeopardy someday. He went on to ask me about the process for trying out for Jeopardy, and I told him about my experiences.

Next, he asked me how I had come to acquire so much knowledge. I shrugged my shoulders and said I didn’t really know, but that I was always curious about things, I like to read, and I just pay attention. Then, he asked me, “Do you know the Lord?” I was not expecting this. I said yes. I told him about growing up Catholic, so I had some of the head knowledge, but I that had never really personally experienced Jesus until I was 19 and got involved with Christian groups on campus at Jeromeville. I told him how, when I meet Christians with an unfavorable view of public education, I remind them that God works in mysterious ways, because I found Jesus at a liberal secular public university. He said that he was curious because many intelligent, educated people he knows don’t believe. I can relate to that, and I told him that I’ve also seen Christians who pride themselves on their lack of education. That is not a good witness to educated people. He said that he wants to live his life to grow closer to the Lord.

There are still Christians out there on the liberal West Coast; I needed that reminder. And if there are people like him out there, there are others who want to find meaning in their lives but have not heard the good news yet. I am thankful for this reminder from God that there is still work for me to do here. Have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving, everyone.