This Christmas, I will be working. No, not simply because I am a priest, though I will assist in the Christmas Liturgy. But, I also work at the VA, and I will be working there on second shift. Joining me will be clinical laboratory scientists, physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, x-ray techs, pharmacists, etc., etc., etc. Around your neighborhood there will be police, firemen, EMTs, power station technicians, etc. Some will serve the elderly in nursing homes, the disabled, and the orphans. Overseas, we have not only troops, but also embassy personnel in every country in the world (with two or three exceptions). They represent the USA to others and are our public face to the world.
Sadly, there will be people working who should not have to work. As Christians, we should be ashamed of going to restaurants and stores on the Feast of the Nativity. Our "pleasure" means their forced work. It is always amazing to me how those who most strongly support keeping Christ in Christmas turn right around and think nothing of engaging in unnecessary activities that force others to miss their Christmas family celebrations.
Nevertheless, this Christmas, let us remember those who are servants, those who serve us. Without them, there would be no Christmas Eve and Christmas Day liturgies. Without them, there would be no defense against fires and foes. Without them, there would be no one to care for our injuries and our emergencies. Without them, no one would care for the orphan, the elderly, and the disabled. Without them, stranded travelers and USA citizens with foreign problems would not find a helping hand. Without them, the foe would not be held at bay by our troops. Without them, we would not be able to go to a restaurant, though I am convinced that this is a misuse of our liberties.
Let us pray and thank God for those who serve us. More than that, let us make a commitment to thank them so that they know that they are appreciated. And, for those who should not be working on this day, let us make a commitment that we will not go to restaurants or engage in any behavior that is thoroughly optional, but will prevent some from enjoying their Christmas holiday.
In other words, let us make a commitment to truly keep Christ in Christmas, by our thoughts, words, and deeds.