As one of my friends noted, this is a very special time. Whatever faith one proclaims (or none), whatever beliefs one holds in his or her heart, whatever one may think of the outward expressions of this commercialized and otherwise sullied season, there is a message here -- actually, a wealth of messages -- which will neither be silenced nor shouted down:
There is hope.
Love exists, in each of our hearts, and as something greater than all of us put together.
That love is expressed, time and again, in countless ways, not only on this day but every hour of every day of the year.
There is peace, and it is made time and again -- not everywhere, not all at once, but here and there, now and then, and sometimes in ways that are so great and so deep they rock the world.
There is joy, and it is on every street corner, in the depths of the silent woods, in the highest heavens, in the humblest home, in tinsel and glitter and in the thanks of the heart for a kindness given, a gift received. Joy is there, everywhere and anywhere, and all we need to do to have it is allow it inside us.
We all have the capacity to love.
We all have the capacity to give.
We all have the capacity to receive.
We all have the capacity to hope.
This season, and every season, let us hope for the best in all things.
Let us receive with grace and gratitude.
Let us give with joyous abandon.
Let us love, first and always, endlessly and without measure.
And wherever we find ourselves unable to do any of these things, let us know that we are not alone, are never alone, and that someone somewhere is always able to do and give when we are unable. That is the miracle, and the grace of this season, and of life.
Right now, someone is loving, someone is giving, someone is receiving.
Someone is hoping.
May the knowledge of that bring you joy.