Coming Up for Air

Christmas 2023 - I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

Monday, December 25, 2023 |

As 2023 comes to a close, I want to take a slightly different approach to my Christmas greetings. I’d like to share with you a Christmas carol, and the story behind it.

The poem, written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, explores the contrasting despair in his heart against the hope of Christmas. Having lost his wife to a fire, and having his son critically wounded in the Civil War, Longfellow struggled with his faith which spoke of "peace on earth, goodwill to man" while he watched the injustice and violence in the country at war around him. At the end of the poem, written on Christmas day in 1863, he concludes with the confession that, while things seem bleak,“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; The Wrong shall fail,The Right prevail, With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

With wars and violence all over the globe, that statement is still true today. One day two thousand years ago, Jesus became a human, in the form of a tiny infant, as the final step in righting wrongs and prevailing over evil finally and fully. Christmas, then, points to Easter, and should serve as a reminder that, while evil does seem prevalent now, the day is coming when God finally says "Enough!" and declares judgment. My prayer, as it is every Christmas season (and, indeed, every day) is that this year will be the year you see Christmas as more than a chance for time off and getting and receiving gifts, but as the offering of the greatest gift of all: salvation through Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas!



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    My name is Jason Lee. I am a software developer living in the middle of Oklahoma. I’ve been a professional developer since 1997, using a variety of languages, including Java, Javascript, PHP, Python, Delphi, and even a bit of C#. I currently work for Red Hat on the WildFly/EAP team, where, among other things, I maintain integrations for some MicroProfile specs, OpenTelemetry, Micrometer, Jakarta Faces, and Bean Validation. (Full resume here. LinkedIn profile)

    I am the president of the Oklahoma City JUG, and an occasional speaker at the JUG and a variety of technical conferences.

    On the personal side, I’m active in my church, and enjoy bass guitar, running, fishing, and a variety of martial arts. I’m also married to a beautiful woman, and have two boys, who, thankfully, look like their mother.

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