This morning I had an appointment with my fifty-year-old cardiologist. I knew and loved his parents who were frequent guests in our home and a part of our family life for many years. I’ve known their son, now a cardiologist, since he was six years old. How strange it seemed this morning to have that six-year old (I still see him as six years old) placing a stethoscope to my chest and back, listening to the beat of my heart. “It is still ticking and ticking well,” he says, “I’ll see you next year.”
Some are probably already saying, “See you next year” to Christmas 2015. But Christmas is still ticking away—it is only the fourth day. Christmas is one of those events that keeps on ticking through the labyrinth of time. Christmas was the moment in the life of Israel in which a baby was born. In this baby many saw that for which their hearts had hungered and their dreams had foretold. He grew to adulthood and exhibited in word and deed a fresh new quality of the age-old response of the spirit of man to the call of God. God was the center of his life. “His was a vision,” writes Thurman, “of a great creative ideal that all men [and women] are children of God, that the normal relation of one person to another is love (anything else is against life), and that there is a Personal Power, God, equally available to rich and poor, to Jew and Gentile, to men and women, to the wise and the foolish, to the just and the unjust.”
For some of us, Christmas was and continues to be, a turning point in human history marking the moment when a new meaning was given to the promises of old: The eyes of the blind are opened, the captives set free, and the dream has become a real possibility—a “friendly world of friendly folk beneath a friendly sky.”
|Astronomical 14th Century Clock in Prague|
Christmas announces that there is a Presence in this world, a Light that lighteth every man and woman that cometh into this world. Within my heart and yours, in the heart of every new baby born, the ticking goes on and will go on until the dream is fulfilled. You can’t say to Christmas, “See you next year!” Christmas is still ticking.