By George

A friend in need is a friend indeed. This time of year means so much to so many, AND YET, WE ALL MISS SO MUCH OF THE TRUE MEANING OF THE SEASON.

Why did the early Christians choose (or did they?) four days after the shortest day of the year to celebrate the birth of a baby? And why, for heaven?s sake have people in Seattle removed a Christmas tree because a religious sect has made a fuss about it? Incomprehensible! Why indeed are we so afraid of losing a few dollars because some legal beagle thinks there is a case to be made because there is no fuss being made of the myriad other groups not recognizing their favourite leader?s birthday? The questions abound!

Happy Hanukkah to our Jewish friends. There are probably days to celebrate Mohammed?s arrival, the birth of Buddha, and so many other people who came to give comfort and support to their followers. For some of us (far less than half the population of the globe) we were brought up to recognize Jesus as a messenger from God, who chose to forgive others for the sake of giving us the responsibility to forgive others when they have hurt us. We are not very good at doing this but at least we were given good advice when we were told that vengeance was God?s responsibility, not ours.

So much for George?s Sermon for today! He has a lot to learn and never has been a good student!

My wife was lectured by a friend a few years back because our daughter knew about Santa Claus and had told her little friend the truth. At the same time the friend, quite pregnant at the time, told the truth, in all its details about how babies were conceived. She admonished Janet to try to have our daughter not tell her kids about Santa. When, if at all, should truth be told? From a fairy tale to the reality of a teen aged child becoming a parent? Guess there is no harm in doing what we deem important to us at the time. We can, and should love our children without reservation. Now, if we can just remove the restriction of the definition of a child! We are, after all, children of God. Ours, theirs, and all others who feel the idea of a God is just a myth.

This is a wonderful time to take a moment to cherish our beliefs, to thank others for their thoughtfulness and their generous spirit of giving. At the same time please do not forget that this is the most lonely season for so many not having the warmth and love of family. Enjoy your good fortune and love others more today than ever! When 2007 rings in its good news for tomorrow, try not to forget the happiness you have today.