'Glory To God ...'

On Kyle's fifth Christmas, he gained a new and special excitement about the birth of Jesus. He was particularly fond of the part about the angels appearing to the shepherds. He learned the Christmas story by heart and delighted in telling it over and over to his parents, which made them very proud.

Like most parents, Kyle's were anxious to have him share his accomplishments more broadly. At the first opportunity, when guests were in the house, they encouraged him to recite the Christmas story.

He did just fine until he got to his favorite part: "And the angels appeared to the shepherds, and said, 'Glory to God in the highest ...' " He froze. His mind went blank. His mother offered a note of encouragement: "Come on, Kyle, think hard."

They waited. He thought a moment. Then his face brightened and he started again: "Glory to God in the highest ... and I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house down."

Matthew 11:25 tells us that what has been hidden from the wise has been revealed to babes. It would certainly be nice to believe that the angels' proclamation of "... and on earth peace, good will to all" were true. But it seems that, unknown to him, Kyle has a more accurate picture of reality.

As winter comes on, the severity of the chronic homelessness of people in our cities takes on new urgency. Real estate speculation continues to force people onto the streets, and others live with the fear that the speculators will huff and puff outside their homes next. All around the globe, houses seem to be blown and burned and bulldozed down by military might, creating a life sentence of refugee-ism for growing numbers of people. Entirely too much huffing and puffing is going on in the world and not nearly enough making of peace and good will.

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