The holidays are full of promise and hope for many, but some lean to Ecclesiastes when they’re left feeling that nothing matters. It feels like it’s all the same because, “I have seen everything under the sun, and there is nothing new… nothing new under the sun.”
Ecclesiastes even has a word of advice for young people, based on the theory that when you get old, you aren’t going to like it. “Remember now thy creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them!”
But even so Ecclesiastes has hope as 10:19 says, “Bread is made for laughter and wine gladdens life.” This means that there are simple things in life and enjoy them rather than seeing them as just another part of existence. Share your happiness freely and treasure these moments.
Some may judge you and tell you to take life seriously but take that with a grain of salt.
I have often asked why is it that so many religious followers are so deadly serious about nearly everything. Why is it that religion makes so many seem to lose their sense of humour? Did being baptized wash it away? I’m not alone in asking this as mainstream media shows religious followers as either wild-eyed fanatics bent on getting everybody to conform to their narrow view of reality, or grim-faced puritans who cannot take a joke.
It makes you wonder where the joy is and where the laughter went. Most religious writings encourage a lifestyle of joy. It means having the faith and the courage to expect God, the Creator, to offer you something that gives you joy, no matter how dismal the pattern of your life.
So whoever you may be, no matter what you have done, whatever the pain in your life right now and whatever circumstances surround you, look around and see what is giving you laughter and hope.
For those of you who have more than others, this is a time to remember our Cree traditions of sharing. It can be a smile, a joke, a contribution to the local food bank or presents or a nod of approval. Hopefully it will be all of the above.
The holiday celebrations are a time of joy and laughter and this is something our Creator wants for us. To enjoy life and to help others do the same. It is not a time to be serious and judge others because we can do that any other time of the year. This season is the occasion where you can share the joy and laughter that changed your life and may change others.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanzaa and Happy New Year from all of the Nation staff. Be safe, give generously to local food banks and to those who have less than we do. Don’t drink and drive and make peace on Earth part of your community’s holidays.