Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Peace on Earth, Goodwill Toward Men

Our tree. Cross ornament made in El Salvador
As Christmas approaches I've been thinking about how special this holiday is for Kim and I as we celebrate with our son Gabriel for the first time.

We're looking forward to spending time with family and friends remembering the importance of promoting peace on earth, goodwill toward men.

Something we look forward to sharing with our boy as he grows is the experience of Native American culture.  Kim and I have been blessed to be a part of mission and cultural work in New Mexico near the Navajo Nation.

Dzil na odillii mesa near Bloomfield, New Mexico
We've made many close friends there and we look forward to sharing the excitement of our little boy, who, in honor of our service and connection to those extraordinary people, have given the native name of 'Kicking Boy', cause he loves to kick!

I've been thinking about all this because of the important spiritual significance and awesome celebration of Jesus' birth, it's always a time of year that I remember my Navajo friends, John & Emma Henderson and other Native Americans.  For me the Dineh people of the southwest are wonderful examples of what Jesus teaches about peace on earth, goodwill toward men. 

Entrance to Wounded Knee Cemetery
So, how many of you know what the significance of the date December 29, 1890 is?


If you ever want to learn the true story of what happened to Native America, go out and get a copy of Dee Brown's historic book, 'Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee'.  Read the book.  Learn the truth.  

As you think about the importance of the season, remember what happened to a people during the holiday season of 1890. 

Have a merry Christmas and happy New Year.  Spend time with family and friends, celebrate Jesus' birth and think about how important the phrase, 'peace on earth, goodwill toward men' is to you.

...and now here's some music from Johnny Cash:

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