Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas is coming.

The cold weather has certainly come to Britain. I remember one Christmas, it must have been 1957, when we had a houseful of visitors at Christmas, so much so that I was sleeping with brother on a matress on the living room floor. On that room the curtains didn't reach the floor at the French windows. I woke in the middle of the night to see snowflakes falling, snow on snow, as the carol says. That was about 40 miles from the sea; here on the coast we seldom have a white Christmas. This year it will be white, but white with frost and white with fog, but I doubt it will snow

There has been chaos at the airports, with most domestic flights cancelled. Eventually one 747 gathered up those waiting at Gatwick and took them to Edinburgh. The roads have not been much better, with crashes and delays on most of the motorways.

I have been out walking into the shops, rather than take the car. Well wrapped up, I have managed to keep warm and bought lots of silly things to go in my grandchildren's stockings. This is an annual tradition. The big presents are under the tree, to be opened after church, but the smallest ones in the house have stockings full of nonsense on their beds . Last year the youngest was 25, but this year we have some children.

I have been watching Dekalog by Krzysztof Kieslowski. This is a series of Polish films, each one hour long, and each loosely based on one of the Ten Commandments. Made in 1987 they are all set around a dreary tower block in communist Poland. Being Catholic they omit the Commandment about graven images and split the coveting into two (your neighbors ass and his wife). I shall have something to say about them in a later blog.

I have also been building models for my grandson's model railway - so far a footbridge and a country church.

I am determined not to think about CLL this week. I have chalked it up as holiday.


Anonymous said...

Regardign salvation outside Christianity, conservative then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger stated that we know there is no salvation outside the church; the only problem with that is we do not know the boundaries of the church!

Deb in Chicago said...

Today I gathered stocking items to make sure they are complete...our kids are 27 and 29 and still look forward to their stockings! Soon they will have children and I can't wait to shop for theirs.

You certainly deserve a holiday from all things CLL - I hope you have a most joyous, blessed and magical Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Correct me if I am wrong, but I always thought that Revelation 18:1-5 ("Get out of her, my people, if you do not want to share with her in her sins, and if you do not want to receive part of her plagues") was a prophetic warning and judgment on ALL of Christendom's religions that have misrepresented Him, corrupted His teachings, insulted Him by saying He is co-equal with His Son and His active force the Holy Spirit, hijacked pagan festivals like Roman Saturnalia (Christmas) and Eostre (Easter) excusing themselves that they did it to celebrate Him, encouraged its members to fight in the last two world wars leading to both German and English 'Christians' killing each other (while both praying to God to help defend their country) despite a clear commandment given to Moses not to murder and from Jesus to love your neighbour as yourself, appropriated a huge pile of land, art, ornate buildings, riches and icons not least the pagan cross symbol, took on the pagan (and Egyptian) concept of an immortal soul continuing in an after-life somewhere in some heaven or hell, failed to encourage all of its followers to preach the good news of the kingdom (Matthew 28:19,20) and of the meek inheriting the earth (Psalms 37:10,11) yet not hesitated to encourage them to get involved in the community and politics of the land and finally have the audacity to say "Join the church if you want to be saved by the Lord!"

The Jews too had similar notions about being God's chosen ones and we know full-well what Jesus said to them. God must be worshiped "with spirit and truth" (John 4:23,24). It's foolish to think that we are saved before having been judged by Him to have truly worshiped Him in "spirit and truth". One can always fall to corruption as mentioned above and one should not believe that being inside any religion of Christendom will serve as some sort of protection when God judges us. Rather He examines the heart ("You hypocrites, Isaiah aptly prophesied about you, when he said, 'This people honours me with their lips, yet their heart is far removed from me. It is in vain that they keep worshiping me, because they teach commands of men as doctrines' " Matthew 15:7-9).

Anonymous said...

...are their beds full of nonsense...or their stockings? :)

Hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!

Terry Hamblin said...

Well, both, I suppose, But thank you for pointing out my grammatical error :) Merry Christmas!

Vance Esler said...


I wish I had been able to go to ASH this year. If I make it next year, it would be fun to get together.

I will be working Christmas, but hopefully not too hard.

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a blessed time with your family.


John said...

I quite like this critical essays on the would be world conquering political "religion" (cult) of Christianity.