Thurman on Christmas, 1 of 3

One of my favorite people, Howard Thurman, writes the following in Meditations Of The Heart.  It’s amazing how relevant his writings continue to be.  I hope this can be meaningful for you as you think about the irony of a greeting like “Merry Christmas,” whether you employ it or hear it.

There is a strange irony in the usual salutation, “Merry Christmas,” when most of the people on this planet are thrown back upon themselves for food which they do not possess, for resources that have long since been exhausted, and for vitality which has already run its course.  Despite this condition, the inescapable fact remains that Christmas symbolizes hope even at a moment when hope seems utterly fantastic.  The raw materials of the Christmas mood are a newborn baby, a family, friendly animals, and labor.  An endless process of births is the perpetual answer of life to the fact of death.  It says that life keeps coming on, keeps seeking to fulfill itself, keeps affirming the margin of hope in the presence of desolation, pestilence and despair.  It is not an accident that the birth rate seems always to increase during times of war, when the formal processes of man are engaged in the destruction of others.  Welling up out of the depths of vast vitality, there is Something at work that is more authentic than the formal, discursive design of the human mind.  As long as this is true ultimately, despair about the human race is groundless.

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