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Saturday, January 08, 2011

Muslims, Jews and Christians working together at Christmas

More Yuletide reflections from Fighting Father Rob

Having just spent the past two days working at the Benton Harbor, Michigan Soup Kitchen, I find myself tired this Christmas morning. There are many things going through my head today: the recovering alcoholic who wrote/printed a short story and gave me a copy about how greatful he was to have found religion in his difficult road to sobriety. Then there is the fellow who dropped off a dozen or so bags of oranges just as I was getting ready to lock the doors on Christmas Eve. His comment: "They were on sale. I thought of the needy at the Soup Kitchen." (The Soup Kitchen is not in the best beighborhoods. Someone from the suburbs has to go out of their way to find it.)

The fellow with the oranges lifted my spirits, as did the recovering alcoholic. Neither have solved the world's problems of poverty, war, injustice, abuse, addiction, and more. But today is Christmas and sometimes small things grow into something much more.

I do not know what it was like for Mary and Joseph the day Jesus was born. None of us REALLY do. We can only surmise.

But I do know that it is written later in Jesus' life, the bible says he said, words to the effect:

"Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone."

On this Christmas Day, my family is still sleeping silently elsewhere in the house. The snow here in Michigan has covered the ground and is dripping from the trees. I can see the woods in the back of my house where sometimes deer, rabbit, and other creatures seek shelter and sustenance.

And I have awakened to my daily scan of the newspapers to read a story of Jews and Muslims in the Detroit area working together this Christmas in Christian missions, secular senior citizen centers, and elsewhere to provide comfort and relief to the vulnerable, the poor, the down on their luck: ... 1408/LOCAL

This Christmas morning, I am greatful for the warmth of my coffee and my house. I am greatful for my Jewish and Muslim brothers and sisters who are working together about three hours drive from here to help the less fortunate. I am hopeful that a recovering alcoholic will find his Higher Power and has taken more than one step on the 12 steps he needs for recovery.

And to the fellow who dropped off the oranges at the Soup Kitchen, and the farmer the day before who dropped off 20 bags of apples, and for the Catholics and Episcopals/Anglicans who served warm soup, hot dogs, and Christmas cookies to the needy this past couple days, I say what Tiny Tim said:

"God bless us. Every one!"

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