Sunday, November 20, 2011

Grandchildren – Right and Wrong

In search of Father Christmas

I’m one of those fortunate grandparents with several grandchildren, seven in fact. Yesterday my wife and I had the whole day with our youngest three grandsons. Born together on the same day by the same mother, means they are triplets, a word that they understand. They have learned that there are not always three identical toys, one for each of them with which to play. They are learning what sharing really means and it’s not easy.

Parents and both sets of grandparents try to treat them fairly without favouritism. We are learning that each child has his own character, strengths and weaknesses. We have an innate desire to teach them the difference between right and wrong and that it is noble to do those things that are right; in fact, that there is only one true way and that’s to be on the side of right and to shun all that is wrong. We try to teach them these things, but they instinctively know when they are doing wrong and when they are doing right, so I suppose it’s our job to reinforce what they know and to support them in doing what is right.

This business of morals is something that concerns us all in our life, unless we have no conscience whatsoever. Apparently psychopaths can carry out the most outrageous crimes to fellow human beings without batting an eyelid and sleep well at night; they wake up in the morning and do not give their heinous acts of the previous day a single thought, or if they do, they deny ever doing them!

Well, yesterday, my wife and I took the children to Southend-on-Sea where there was a hive of activity in the High Street, all purporting to relate to Christmas – a celebration of Christmas. In fact, nothing was mentioned about Jesus, the Babe who was born in a stable for the redemption of those who would seek Him. There were no billboards announcing the good news; there were no invitations for people to join together in celebrating His birth; instead there was a large open-air market, and shops were advertising discounts on their merchandise to encourage people to part with their money.

Father Christmas found

Father Christmas would be arriving in his sleigh and the town’s festive lights would be turned on. Father Christmas would be in the mall, and if you liked to pay £3 per child, he would give them each a present. We had already treated our grandchildren at an activity stall where they could make themselves a wizard’s hat or a sparkly wand, but their day would not be complete without seeing the white-bearded man dressed in a red gown. After an interminable wait in a very long queue their time came to meet the legendary, ubiquitous magician who can travel faster than the speed of light to deliver toys to all good children on Christmas Eve.

He turned out to be very fair - a man with high morals. Each child received a colourful book worth more than £3! The price tag on each book was £3.75. What could be fairer than that?

Text for the Day

Luke 2:7 ‘And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them at the inn.’

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