~ MOST CHRISTMAS MORNINGS, Binks-lad got up earlier than the parents and the Binks-brothers, and enjoyed the magic and quiet of the decorated & bepresented living-room. Sometimes I’d turn on the tree-light, and just look at it. It was my time, before the unsettling festival of ripping and tearing.
One year, I sat on the couch– beneath the southward-looking big picture window– and looked out into the pre-dawn skies above the houses opposite.
Whoa. A star? A bright one, blue and sharp and big, and mysteriously beautiful. THE Star? Of Bethlehem?
Was it all true? Really truly true? I sat in wonder looking (at the planet Venus, I figured out long years later), in the middle of my own private epiphany.
The question, after all, abides– whether or not I was looking at The Christmas Star, and whatever it may have really been years ago, on that first Christmas. The truth of God, and of The Word made Flesh does not actually depend on my agreement. The Enlightenment may have deposed the Pope, but ironically it made scientific materialism a new religion, and everyone a mini-pope.
The moments when an individual soul seeks, asks, in inward pilgrimage seeks the big picture are individual, personal, and precious. The Christ never commanded belief, forced obedience, or demanded faith at sword-point. He knocks at the door of the soul; he says ‘follow me’; he welcomes angel-called worshippers while yet a newborn.
So it was for me that Christmas morning, circa 1974. In God’s purposes, that was my time, and though the ways were twisted and strayed into real darkness in my teens, I returned to follow that Star– for the truth of religion did not depend on me, or Venus, but on the truth itself.
God loves us whether we like it or not– or believe it or not.
Kids are full of spiritual need, questions, and their own moments– how sad that divorce, corrupt pop-culture, glowing screens, politically correct schooling, materialism, and a lot of wishy-washy religion is out there to when they still need to ponder ultimate things. It’s arid ground.
Christmas should– even for culturally and morally sensible agnostics and atheists– remind us of love, peace, hope, the power of belief, of convincing versus coersion, of a better world than utopia or Caliphate or watching the West decay around us. Christmas– despite the commercial blare and glare– is also about silence, reflection, the spiritual things, the dignity and value of each individual soul under God– all that statism, Jihadism, communism, and the plethora of Isms would ignore or destroy.
That’s your festive Binks autobiographical moment of the day– memorize, print & frame it, enjoy, pass it on. ~