The Winter Solstice occurred last night/this morning at 12:30 a.m. Along with many religious festivals honoring the event, Yule will celebrate the Earth's renewal and the lengthening of days.
Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, began Dec. 20. Persons of Jewish faith are commemorating the 2nd century BCE event when the wicks of a temple's menorah miraculously burned for eight days.
And, Christmas is Sunday. Along with billions of other Christians, I'm celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ from the Virgin Mary.
Some of my most brilliant and open-minded friends have asked recently why I'm still a Christian. They want to know how I can remain a part of intolerant religions. In honor of Jesus’ birthday, I'll answer why.
The simple fact is that I love Jesus. I've read the Bible. The man wandered around the desert with his friends teaching people about His God, drinking wine, saving strangers and being loving toward all – with other people paying the way.
If Jesus were alive today, He would resemble today's hippie. Jesus would be a hacky sack-bouncing, guitar-playing, bearded, loving, modern-day hippie. I can dig that.
I mean no disrespect and truly apologize to those I've offended with my words. I know how upsetting it can be when one's savior is cast in what can be viewed as an unfavorable light. That's why I get angry when people are intolerant or bigoted in Jesus' name.
In John 15:17, Jesus said, "These things I command you, that ye love one another." Acknowledging and celebrating with other religions is not blasphemy. And I'm a Christian because (among many other reasons) Jesus is worthy of our praise.
So, in the spirit of Jesus, I wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Merry Winter Solstice, Peace, Joy and Love.
(And to the oft-forgotten Christmas babies.)