It's a spectacular afternoon in the park this Sunday. The Dallas sky is a clear almost New Mexico sort of blue, and it's a dry forty-eight degrees. Church bells are chiming in the distance.
Thanks for stopping by for our weekly visit.
This year it became apparent to me that those who do not celebrate Christmas and are offended that anyone else does, are winning their hopes that it will eventually be erased from their view.
For years it was a tradition for most if not all situation comedies and variety shows to script and produce a Christmas show.
The tradition began in radio and followed the audience into television programming. And interestingly, many of the stars of those programs were not Christians.
This year, while there may have been some, Patty and I didn't find one of the current sitcoms with a Christmas script.
One of the most famous of the radio programs, "Amos ‘n Andy." did a broadcast in 1940 that became an annual tradition, a tradition that followed the program into TV. And it was performed word for word every year until 1954.
Here's the serious part of the script that Americans heard.
Amos' daughter Arbadella: What does the Lord's Prayer mean, Daddy?
Amos: Well, it means an awful lot. And with the world like it is now, darlin', it seems to have a bigger meaning than ever before.
Now you lie down and listen. The first line of the Lord's Prayer is this, "Our Father, which art in Heaven." That means, Father of all that is good where no wrong can dwell.
And the next line is, "Hallowed be thy name." That means, darlin', that we should love and respect all that is good.
"Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, in Earth as it is in Heaven." That means darlin' as we clean our hearts of all hate and selfishness and fill our hearts with love, the good the true and the beautiful, then this earth will be exactly like Heaven.
Arbadella: Oh, that would be wonderful, Daddy.
Amos: Then it says, "Give us this day our daily bread." Now that means to feed our hearts with kindness, love and courage, which will make us strong for our daily tasks.
And then it says, "And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors"' Do you remember the Golden Rule?
Arbadella: Oh, yes, sir.
Amos: Well, that means we must keep the Golden Rule and do unto others as we would want them to do unto us.
And then it says, "And Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." That means, my darlin,' to ask God to help us do and see and think right so that we will neither be led or tempted by anything that is bad."
Arbadella: Uh, huh.
Amos: And then it says, "For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever. Amen." That means, darlin,' that all of the world and everything that's in it belongs to God's kingdom. Everything. Mommy, your daddy, your little brother, your grandma, you and everybody. And as we know that, and act as if we know that, my darlin' - that is the real spirit of Christmas."
So my question, for those of you who find the mention and celebration of Christmas offensive, how could anything but good have come from this "Amos n' Andy" program?
Happy New Year! I hope you'll drop by for a visit next Sunday.
Bill in the Park Pen and Ink Drawing by Galveston Artist Carlotta Barker