Wednesday, December 16, 2020

😎🐫🎤 Christ’s peace be with you.  No.  NO!  Nooooo.  No?  Yes!  No, no, no. Yes.  How many No’s does it take to get to the center of a Yes?  This thought and these words have crept into my life multiple times this past week.  We definitely hear No more in our lives than we do Yes.  I mean, it only makes sense, right?  From the very beginning as a young child, we hear our parents telling us “No, don’t touch that.”  “No, don’t do that, you’ll get hurt.”  “No, you can’t have my drink.  I don’t want your floaties in my cup.”  And the list of No’s goes on.  As we grow up and even into adulthood, we still have that barrage of No’s coming at us before we finally receive that Yes.  Is it a 5 to 1 ratio, 10 to 1, or maybe even greater?  I believe that ratio depends on how well and quickly we prepare for that Yes.  We all have things that we want NOW!  But are we willing to say No to obtain Yes?  During 2020, I’m sure that we’ve all had to say No a whole lot more than we normally would in a year.  No dinner with friends.  No group outings.  No family gatherings.  No HUGS!  I know it’s not ideal, but we say No now so that we can live another day to safely say Yes.  Logically I’ve talked myself into being okay with all of this in 2020.  But last night I had a moment of sadness with all the No’s during a FaceTime call with our five year old grandson.  He’s a bit of a goofball, but twice during our conversation he got very serious and asked if we would come visit him.  He lives about 8 hours away, so we don’t get to see him much in a regular year, which I think is why it just seemed to sadden my heart a little bit more when I had to tell him that we couldn’t visit. 

Yes, this Christmas season there are going to be a lot of NO’s when it comes to gatherings with family, friends and coworkers which will allow for Yes in different areas.  My idea of Christmas music is singing at midnight Mass.  There is absolutely something about singing Christmas songs welcoming our Savior at Mass.  Outside of that environment, I typically don’t listen to Christmas music, but this year I have said Yes to Christmas music and added it to my morning routine.  Something else that I’ve said Yes to, to brighten Christmas…no it’s not Christmas lights.  I said Yes to something I saw in our neighborhood app and you may have seen it in other social media sites.  I said Yes to ringing Christmas bells in my front yard for 2 minutes at 6:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve.  I shared this thought with some neighbors and they too said Yes!  Actually, they were all pretty excited about the idea.  At 6:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve, I invite you to also say Yes to welcoming our Lord into our broken world by stepping out of your home and maybe a bit out of your comfort zone to ring Christmas bells to welcome our Lord and Savior.  The sound of those bells will mean different things to those that hear them and may not be expecting them.  Like Christ Himself, the sounds of the bells will bring feelings of joy, happiness, peace, surprise, love, and for some it may free them from their loneliness for a brief moment.  Will you say Yes and join in this celebration of carrying Christ outside of our homes and ringing Christmas bells to fill the air with the sounds of a grand welcome for our King?  Please share this idea with your family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, the person cashing you out at the grocery store.  Actually, share it with every person you talk to between now and 6:00 p.m. Christmas Eve.  Let’s light up this silent night with a joyous sound that has never before been heard or experienced.  Bless others and be blessed.

#MatthewWest – The Hope of Christmas

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