Post Christmas – PreChristmas


I’m only a year late posting last Christmas’ quilt and realizing it is time to start thinking about this year’s Christmas projects.  This fabric was another find I couldn’t leave behind.  It was a layer cake I bought at the IQS in Gimli, MB.  The result was a lap quilt to donate to the church’s annual bazaar.

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Alas, it did not sell.  I gifted it to a wonderful and faithful member of the congregation.  She does not get out to Sunday morning worship any longer.  She has type of dementia that she handles fairly well by leaving post-in notes everywhere as a reminder.  She would call me Mondays after she had attended church with appreciative words for the sermon.  Not long after she would call again, same reason.  And then again, and again, until she remembered to throw out the post-in note reminding her to call me to tell me she appreciated my sermon.  It was a blessing.

I gave her this quilt at the end of the bazaar, just as she was preparing to leave.  During her ride home she mentioned to the driver someone had given her a lovely quilt.  The driver answered, “Yes, I know, the minister gave it to you.”

“Did she?!  How thoughtful of her.  A good preacher and generous too!  To bad I won’t remember to thank her.”

Psalm 119:49  Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope.

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I wrote a little earlier, of a father-in-law, a second cousin, an uncle.  One a Canadian, one Polish, one from Great Britain.  I think of my mother, a five-year old when the Canadian soldiers floated up the canals of the Netherlands and brought the sweet taste of her first chocolate bar that became forever linked with liberation and freedom.  I think of Canada’s latest casualty, a classmate of my best friend’s sons and the same age as my own.  The Bible give us God’s word over and over again to remember.  Remember the deeds of the Lord your God and teach them to your children, remember the orphan, the widow, the alien in your midst, “do this in remembrance of Me”.

John 15:13   No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

It is the verse so often heard this day of days, the day we remember.  Of course Jesus was talking about his life, for all of us, a sacrifice for freedom of a different sort.

I, like many others, am the uneasy pacifist.  Violence is abhorent.  We say it is, want to believe it, but will resort to it in circumstances that seem to suggest there is no other option.  It makes me sad.  I weep for those left, for families, for friends, for children who do not survive their parents, for brides and grooms whose love is lost, for babes in arms who will never know.

I weep every time I watching the photo montage on YouTube of the Highway of Heros.

The photo of the fellow standing on the cement divider is the nemesis of my tears.  That someone would stop on the freeway and show respect in this manner leaves me choking back sobs. I am proud of Canadians, that they would line bridges and highways and sidewalks to acknowledge the call to duty and ultimate price soldiers pay for us.

It is such a waste, such a bloody, ugly, wrenching loss of possibility, that grants us the opportunities and liberties we enjoy so much, that we too often act are our right, that the world owes us.  It is a horrible way to solve differences of opinion, to get what we want, of greed, of acquisition, of political or religious ideology.  Our hope is for peace.  Jesus told us the peacemakers would be blessed, not the peace wishers, or the peace hopers, or the peace brokers, or the peace prayers.  The peacemakers.