With a tsunami of Things to challenge our perception of what exactly is our tolerance of too much: too much to give and probably too much to get if you are able to participate in such exchanges. Why presents to and fro anyway? Are they thanks, reminders, guilt-reducers? Do they really count in the long run of family and social life? Growing older and thinking this way tends to put one in the category of curmudgeonry. So be it, and long live the 'jerks' who challenge the conventional but often mindless way of doing well, things.
Well, sure, I can go on - that we are certainly living in changing times and bringing up and following tradition (tree, song, gifts, etc.) is a way of asserting oneself in the face of such troubling but inevitable facts. AI and ChatGBT are roiling our way of life in all ways. The more things change, the more they stay the same - but the same is what? We talk glibly of 'reality' and being able to recognize such a seemingly stable factor in our lives.With this new universal promise/threat hanging over us, how are we going to determine what is real and what is not? How to grasp the concept and still feel stable? Like challenging currents and high waves in a roiling sea, how do we keep our heads up?
A rollercoaster ride at least has an endpoint in sight. The ocean seems unlimitless but we can see borders, banks, beaches - barriers on land. Is staying sane, however that is interpreted, ever possible when we live under constantly questioning true vs false and might be lose sight of why that matters?
If the outcome (whatever that is) looks perilous, each moment is going to count all the more. Living in the moment, aware of others (and other things) around us, surely will help.
Though unlikely as it is that my sermon will have any impact, maybe I can at least be thankful that I care... So hats off to contemplation, celebration, community and care.