Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. – Galatians 5:1

*   *   *

I suspect that part of my resistance to Christmas over the years has reflected a growing call toward Plainness of some sort – an increasing retirement from everyday affairs of this world – from the newspapers and politics, economics and entertainment – to free me to perform other work, including the literature and ministry. Certainly, it has been a deeper calling for something more lasting, even if not so lucrative, in my life’s work. And yet I had a job that provided me a transition from one to the other, from the known to the unknown. A job that paid well, at least for a small-town newspaperman. A job that allowed some long suppressed, shining qualities to reemerge in my personality. A job that allowed me to save up for that day when other things are demanded of me. All this has been given, I believe, for a purpose. Here’s hoping to be true to its call.

*   *   *

Not by Works of Righteousness which we have done, but according to his Mercy he saved us, by the Washing of Regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which he shed on us abundently through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by Grace we should be made Heirs according to the Hope of eternal Life. (Elizabeth Bathurst, 1655?-1685)



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