CHRISTMAS CARDS FROM ORPHANS

Should an alien be charged with the task of assessing just what sort of beings existed on earth, and what was important to them, but could only do so by visiting a post office in December, he might very well conclude that all of the people on earth were children, wore white clothing and lived at the beach. He might also conclude that everyone had credit problems.

I am looking now at a 2007 Christmas greeting card — the kind that incorporate a family photo — still magnetically affixed to our refrigerator. We received quite a few of them, and of all that we got I only recall one that included parents in the photograph. It’s as if the only people truly interested in Christmas are the kids.

Is that as it should be? Is the only compelling reason for a thing that it is “for the children”? (Recall Dr Joycelyn Elders’ proclamation that we need ‘safer bullets’ for the children, but not, apparently, for adults, who are able to handle dangerous bullets just fine). Do adults not have a compelling interest in Christmas, in the advent of Christ? Have we become so anti-adult, so pro-child, so enamored with Peter Pan that we have unwittingly become kidolaters?

Sure, Jesus was a child for part of his earthly life, but no significant role in his ministry was occupied by anyone other than an adult. During his short ministry he was an adult, his disciples were adults, his opponents were adults. Yes, children are important, but primarily because they will, eventually, become adults.

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