Christmas and all that it means is eternal but the day itself comes and goes. Some come and go easily. This one has not. I don’t know if it’s just been how late Thanksgiving came but things have felt off to me for a long time. The weather has been brutal too then we get freezing rain with it which is unusual for us in these parts. Sometimes the hype is so intense you’re left sort of undone when it’s all over. The gifts which have sat neatly under the tree now lie in disarray . I try not to let it make me feel sad but it always does. These are the times when I think my salamander has the right idea…things come and go as do days but you can’t let it eat you up…what’s eternal remains. My salamander doesn’t let season’s passing bother him…each day he relishes the life he’s got…it’s perfect in its simplicity. Outside it seems to be rather bleak as well. The wind is cold but a sullen melt is progressing…and I stand here seemingly alone. It feels bitter and lonely with no comfort or warmth to be found. Everywhere I turn a cold wall. But then I remember something I preached in an Idaho maximum security prison. You are here in prison because of crimes against the state but as far as God is concerned you’re forgiven. If you receive Him as He’s received, loved, and forgiven you there will be no four walls that can hold you in…your spirit will be free. That moment was something I’ll never forget…for a moment there was no prison for them or me. We were all aware of something. Beyond the fears and pains and even natural jails that can imprison we were free together before God because that…that is eternal…it can never be encaged though we may at times forget. This temporal realm pails next to eternity and suddenly the darkness fades and I see the empty wrappers as fulfilled blessings and the cold winter landscape as…dare I say it…..beautiful! Take courage my friends. There is a reason for the season. Christ is eternal…this is His day…as are all the rest. Merry Christmas!