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Eric’s Sunday Sermon; Get Rid of The Guilt for Christmas

Updated on December 17, 2017
Ericdierker profile image

Holding degrees in philosophy and Law. Formal studies or certificates or degrees in business, theology, insurance and security. Ex-preacher.

A Home Filled With Six Kids And The Best Cook in The World

White Christmas? I was hoping for blue skies so I would not have to shovel again.
White Christmas? I was hoping for blue skies so I would not have to shovel again. | Source

Just Put Your Hands In The Air and Love Those Blues Away

So funny, yesterday I spoke with a good man of the Christmas faith. He exchanged with me his problem of offending others with his exuberant love of the reason for the season. I am not one of those weirdos that go around being a whacky Christian. Except in my head and heart. But this situation called for a prayer. A begging for a stronger heart. One more filled with love. God help us be stronger and less worried about what others think of us. And work that mystery in us where we do care and so we must be a beacon of light. Take not our faith but take our worry.

There is a place during this wonderful season that just kind of creeps up on you and you find yourself contemplating rather than just running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Maybe some good music driving to your auntie’s house. Maybe just a child getting it, but anxious about getting “it”, how precious. Maybe you get all lucky like me and have the time to serve up Christmas Eve soup kitchen stuff. Or maybe it is with your spouse topping off the tree with an angel or a star.

I admit that I am a 60 years old. But strange as it may be I go to sleep during this time dreaming of Santa and Sugar Plum Fairies. Maybe I should be thinking of money and work to be done. Or maybe I should be thinking about all the fun shopping for Christmas. Maybe I should dream about our Lord in a hay filled barn. But I do not, I lay there for about 47 seconds and think about the joy of giving and then off to la la land. Best sleep of the year.

I especially like doing good things around now. Not just for the giving aspect but others do not have reservations or skepticism in receiving them so it is doubly sweet. Opening that door for some fine lady is not viewed as chauvinism. It seems that when I say “thank you very much”. The receiver actually hears it and gives a moment to thank me back rather than something lame like “no problem”.

My boy and I were outback playing soccer and my boy said to me “look how green that tree is”. Well let me tell you we have been in the throws of Santa Anna winds and major dryness nothing looks real green. Intellectually I knew he was nuts but in my spirit I joined with him, as something about this time of year enhances the plain beauty of life.

Every Corner Of Our Wonderful Celebrates in Their Own Way - Inspiring

This One Reminds Me Of What It Must Have Been to Have The Angels Singing

Can He Be Born Everyday Of The Year?

There is also something about reaching this season that is like an “at a boy”. Perhaps New Years is a beginning but Christmas means we finished the race and at least get a mention in the book of life. For me my children’s birthdays are fun but I really pay attention to their growth at Christmas. Could it be in the fact that every year they seem more giving than the last? Maybe just that their love is maturing or getting more important to them. For me as dad sometimes it is closer to a long sigh that I didn’t screw up too much in the last year or at least it didn’t hurt anyone.

About those lumps of cold. One Christmas I got 5 rocks for presents. What can I say I love rocks. I may get to go to our DAV thrift store this year and get one of those old brass microscopes we used in high school. Of course just for my son ;-) Christmas songs are great this time of year, partly because I stay out of stores and elevators. But mainly because of the great abundance of them on YouTube. For our reading last night we read the lyrics and sang along to Little Drummer Boy which is just fantastic for a little guy. That one just thrusts you into the spirit of Christmas from both a giving perspective and a reason for the season lesson. Listening to Silent Night as I write.

I put up stockings last week. Mine was hand done by a lovely “auntie” type lady. It is exactly 60 years old today. So somewhere is her soul 150 years old from birth. So now is a good spot to talk about Christ’s birthdate. Sorry but my first response is “Who the heck cares?” If we could say that it was everyday would we be less sincere than a particular day. I am very fortunate to have been adopted. My birthdate is ho hum. But my chosen day, the day I was brought home from the hospital, is the big date. My siblings and my children and wife all celebrate that day for real. When was I born? I also like born again Christians and 12 step peoples. Their basic important birthday is quite different from when they were physically born. I could even go with a baby baptism as the date. There is also a good case to be made for inception. (leave that alone for now – too hot to handle)

I Just Like The Setting

So Cool


Parties are cool but I admittedly shy away. I go to two and have a great time at both. One big company one where my wife works and these are friends of a decade and a half. And one with my four children which is truly heaven sent. It is a real shindig with dance offs, horrible singing and my wife’s famous Pho’. These gettogethers are not on Christmas day. I have not decided on the day for a Christmas dinner at home. Maybe on New Year’s Day. We do not celebrate that Western style we go with the Tet or Chinese New Year. So that would be good as we are all together on that day. And it is a remembrance day for those who died in the Tet offensive including family.

“Giving Thanks Day” maybe is a good name instead of Christmas. I don’t think we could get too much of that. I think the notion of Christ Mass is fairly new and as Masses are basically Catholic it is interesting that we settled on that.

“It is all about me day”. I think we can kind of get wrapped up in that. We each build our own magic house and set out trying to make things fit in with that notion. We need to get over that for very sure. Think of the manger. I do not think that is what Joseph and Mary had in mind. But as the story goes they did not question it and went with the flow of sheep and cows and strange folk showing up for the party. Perhaps a star like the one we emulate atop our trees is the finest gift a child ever has received.

Sorry if this Sermon goes wonkers from here as I am tearing up just feeling the love in thought. I admit to being a fine isolationist. Kind of a family hermit. But wouldn’t be so cool if this served to move someone. Maybe it could be a blessing to someone, especially one alone. Maybe not a gift but just maybe a “stocking stuffer”.

Oh Lord let one and all, great and small get just a bit of the love you show me.

Christmas Without Snow But Surfing

Why is that little one looking so serious?
Why is that little one looking so serious? | Source


A nice present for Christmas.
A nice present for Christmas. | Source


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    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      10 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      So true

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Very good comment my friend. I spent one in Hanoi. We had major political ties and bridges to create in 1999.

      But a hotel clerk called me aside and told me what church the communists had do beef with. More like the house churches of say 30AD.

      If we listen God will find us a way to celebrate his majesty.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      10 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand


      Never have felt bad about Christmas, (apart from when Dad caught my brother and I playing table soccer at 3am one Christmas morning that is).

      The strangest one I've spent was in Damascus 1984. We spent it going round the streets carol singing with the secret police (actually not so secret really) watching, and enjoying the music!! By the way, we were with a church there, and there were a couple of dozen of us!

      When was Jesus born? Does the date really matter?

      What matters, is to remember that God cares so much about us, he sent Jesus to show us the way home!

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Changes are awesome Dana. My wife gets me a piece of clothing that she likes. My adult kids give me fun trinkets that reflect there lives, just a coffee mug from wherever is so awesome.

      But we have the little guy. There was a lot of Christmas arts and crafts with cool cards going to everyone in the world it seems. And that boy reaps in the presents. My wife loves to send presents. me not so much.

      The card to Jesus this year said to the effect; "thank you for having a birthday it is the best day of the year". (and he acolytes so it is not just material - he gets it)

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 

      11 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      I had a wonderful Christmas. Usually, I buy as many gifts as I can and hardly receive anything. This year I decided I would not buy any gifts and just enjoy a nice Christmas dinner.

      Well to my surprise. I received lots of gifts and felt bad because I didn't give any gifts. I learned a good lesson which is, Jesus is always the reason for the season. He gave his life for us and we didn't deserve it. I hope you had a Merry Christmas my friend. And, have a happy New Year.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dora it is always a reward when I hear from you. We are feeling the love around here and it for sure is the greatest gift.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Frank. I thought about it and decided that I really like writing these. It makes me think.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      12 months ago from The Caribbean

      Eric, here's hoping that you and yours have a merry Christmas with lots of giving and receiving--love, above all.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      12 months ago from Shelton

      Once again Eric you serve up a wonderful sermon for the up coming holidays.. awesome read

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      You are a free spirit. Knowing you is a blessing.

    • CrisSp profile image


      12 months ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Oh Eric, may you continue to be blessed and be a blessing to others. It should be all about love really not just for Christmas but for 365 days!

      Thus, love I send you from the sky. ~

      P.S. Enjoyed all the music clips!

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Kari I think you are on track with mas. Basically Latin, the base of Spanish is the presumed modern form of Missa. I also have a book called the Missal for Modern Masses. They really are all intertwined.

      My thought is that there were "high" type services which had more to them bringing in the word "Mas" as you suggest.

      Using Latin in services was to the exclusion of "modern" regional languages for centuries. I think one of those things that ticked Luther off.

      I had not thought of this for awhile - thank you for bringing it up.

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 

      12 months ago from Ohio

      Christmas really is a special time of year. It does seem strangers are nice and people are more open to talking. I always think of the word "Christmas" as being "Christ more". Mas means more in Spanish.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Clive you remind me of my eldest brother. He says that all the time and has total atheistic views but he is the most super Santa I know. I wonder what he got me, my wife, all of my children this year.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Denise thank you for writing that. My prayers are with you regarding medical stuff.

      I have one sister and one brother who just love going crazy with gifts and fun. They just do not stress out at all. My sister starts her shopping and saving in May.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill, I ran into a problem with it just a couple of years ago. My adult children were having over Christmas stuff. We are all good now.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Demas those are powerful and wonderful words. Thank you. You bring a great inspiration to us all.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Linda. I surely do feel that way.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 

      12 months ago from Jamaica

      bah humbug!

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 

      12 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      We stopped making a big deal of the gift giving when all of our children left home. I have one daughter, however, who is forever in her youth, and she was concerned about Christmas this year. My husband goes in for surgery on Wednesday, and we won't be travelling to be with any of our children. When she expressed concern about Santa not finding her at home, I suggested that she take on the roll. It has been fun to watch her find things she can give to others rather than thinking about what she will get. That is the magic of Christmas anyway. When we think about what we can give, nothing else matters!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      12 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Buddy, I shit-canned guilt twelve years ago, and it's been smooth sailing ever since. :)

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 

      12 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Giving love and sharing love are the two easiest commandments, if only we will. Loving our enemies, is only to realize they are our brothers and sisters, children of the same loving God who is the father of all. We are all here spiritually to experience mortality and learn to love as Christ loved: unconditionally for the glory of our Heavenly Father. Merry Christmas

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      12 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric, you're not wonkers, nor are you bonkers. You're just full of love my brother and it oozes out in everything you write. Thanks for another wonderful Sunday sermon.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Manatita, I got some good church in and am taking a break from my rose garden, but all and all I am less wonkers. Thanks for being a friend.

      Aside from Crazy, Don't Worry and I Can See Clearly Now -- I like this;

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      12 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks Louise and thanks for knowing what that meant. Spell check rejected it and told me I was bonkers. Whatever.

      I think it is a special treat to have your well wishes.

      Sometimes I fear we overlook the simplest huge gifts to each other.

    • manatita44 profile image


      12 months ago from london

      Some aspect on Love, good will and giving here, but yes, maybe it did go a bit wonkers.

      The spirit of the videos are par excellence. Peace.

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      12 months ago from Norfolk, England

      Oh it didn't go wonkers Eric. I love reading your Sunday services. Thankyou!


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