(December 18, 2007)

My mom-in-law is doing okay. She had her transfusion in the ER on the weekend. She is weak but in good spirits. On Thursday we’ll take her to the specialist to see what he can do.

I’m still into a low grade depression. I can tell because I don’t have much energy to do the things I would normally be doing at Christmas time. The thought of preparing Christmas dinner scares me. It seems like it will be a bigger job than I’m up to. My husband mentioned that he notices that I’m still down. He can often tell better than I do myself.

But the wonderful thing is that this is not a bad depression. Things could be much worse. So I’m thankful. I putter at the jobs that have to be done and I find contentment now-a-days doing Sudoku puzzles and playing Ticket to Ride with my husband when we have a free evening. My days are not at all black, just a pale wash of gray.

I’ve been eager to gather as much from them from our Sunday church services this Advent season. In his sermon on Sunday, our pastor mentioned John 3:16, the well-known verse we all learned to memorize in Sunday School: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” That verse is so common that those of us who are familiar with it hardly pay attention to exactly what those words mean. That’s the danger when words become too common.

But he then pointed out verse 17, one that doesn’t get as much play: “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” Jesus did not come to merely point an accusing finger at the world for how bad it was. He came to help. He came to set the world right again. The story of his life shows that so well.

Oh, if Christians, as the followers of Christ we are called to be, would only pay attention to those words. Too often we’re guilty of criticizing or judging. We need to help each other. We need to love the way Jesus taught us to. It’s this kind of love we celebrate at Christmas time.