The World and Everything in It — December 29, 2020


MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!

President Trump directly confronted China in a way other administrations have not. We’ll hear what to expect under a Biden presidency.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Also the youth vote in Georgia’s upcoming runoff takes on greater relevance. 

Plus highlights from this year’s most listened to feature stories.

And what remains after the Christmas tree is taken down.

REICHARD: It’s Tuesday, December 29th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!

REICHARD: Time now for the news. Here’s Kent Covington.


KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: House votes to raise amount of stimulus checks » Lawmakers in the House voted last night to grant President Trump’s recent request to raise the payout in the next round of stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000 for most Americans. 

AUDIO: On this vote, the yeas are 275. The nays are 134. The bill is passed. 

Democrats were lockstep in support of the measure. Virginia Congressman Don Beyer said a larger relief payout is needed and long overdue. 

BEYER: $600 is not enough for people facing eviction and hunger. For many, this would just pay a past due rental bill from July. 

Most Republicans voted “no,” including Texas Congressman Kevin Brady.

BRADY: I worry that as we spend nearly another nearly half a trillion dollars so hastily that we’re not targeting this help to the very Americans who are struggling the most and need that help. 

But dozens of Republican lawmakers sided with both Democrats and President Trump on raising the amount of the checks. 

The bill now heads to the Senate, where it will be a much tougher sell. Republicans are wary of more spending, pointing to a national debt spiraling toward $28 trillion.

Biden rips Trump policies, decries lack of cooperation in transition » President-elect Joe Biden tore into the outgoing Trump administration in remarks on Monday. 

He said his transition team is encountering “roadblocks from the political leadership at the Department of Defense and the Office of Management and Budget. 

BIDEN: We just aren’t getting all the information that we need from the outgoing administration in key national security areas. It’s nothing short, in my view, of irresponsibility. 

Biden spoke from Wilmington, Delaware, after a briefing from members of his national security and foreign policy review teams. 

He also vowed to reverse President Trump’s immigration and border asylum policies.

BIDEN: We’re going to work purposely, diligently, and responsibly to roll back Trump’s restrictions, starting on day one. 

He claimed the Trump administration has “systematically created” a “humanitarian disaster” on the southern border. 

The head of the Border Patrol labor union and other critics of Biden’s border plans say his polices will encourage illegal immigration. 

States step up vaccine efforts for nursing homes, healthcare workers » States are stepping up efforts to roll out coronavirus vaccines to healthcare workers and nursing home residents. 

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday marked the start of an effort to vaccinate all long term care residents in his state. 

MURPHY: Long term care facilities across the entire nation, and certainly here, have been crushed by COVID-19. They have borne an outsized burden of this pandemic. 

And Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp told reporters…

KEMP: The federal government and the team at Operation Warp Speed have rolled out a program for long term care facilities to partner directly with CVS and Walgreens to deliver the vaccine to their residents and their staff. 

And Kemp said his state is offering a delicious incentive for healthcare workers to get the new coronavirus vaccine shots. 

KEMP: Each frontline worker who’s vaccinated will receive a Waffle House gift card, and if that doesn’t get you in line, I don’t know what will. 

Vaccines manufactured by Moderna and Pfizer are shipping out nationwide. 

And a huge study of another vaccine candidate kicked off on Monday. The shots produced by drugmaker Novavax are the fifth to reach final-stage testing in the United States. 

China sentences lawyer who reported on outbreak to 4 years » A Chinese court on Monday sentenced a former lawyer who reported on the early stage of the coronavirus outbreak to four years behind bars. WORLD’s Leigh Jones has that story. 

LEIGH JONES, REPORTER: A lawyer for Zhang Zhan said her supposed crime, according to the government, was—quote—“picking fights and provoking trouble.”

Chinese authorities arrested her in May, saying she spread false information, granted interviews to foreign media, and “maliciously manipulated” the outbreak.

Zhang traveled to the epicenter of the outbreak in Wuhan in February and reported her findings on social media platforms. 

The 37-year-old staged a hunger strike during her detention and is reportedly now in poor health. 

China also threatened and detained several doctors who first raised concerns about the pandemic for—quote—“rumor-mongering.”

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Leigh Jones. 

EU nations sign off on trade deal with UK » Ambassadors from the 27 EU nations gave their unanimous approval on Monday to a freshly minted trade deal with the U.K. 

The approval had been expected, since all EU leaders have welcomed the deal that the two sides struck on Christmas Eve. 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also celebrated the agreement. 

JOHNSON: I believe it will be the basis of a happy and successful and stable partnership with our friends in the EU for years to come. 

But U.K. Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said Monday that while Brexit means new opportunities, it also brings “specific challenges.” 

Firms are scrambling to digest the impact of the more than 1,200-page trade deal.

And the British government is warning businesses to brace for some—quote—“bumpy moments” when new trade rules take effect on Thursday.

I’m Kent Covington.

Straight ahead: Joe Biden’s approach to China.

Plus, Kim Henderson on taking down Christmas.

This is The World and Everything in It.


NICK EICHER, HOST: It’s Tuesday the 29th of December, 2020.

Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. First up: China.

The Trump administration made confronting China one of its top foreign-policy priorities, and for good reason: For eight decades, the United States was the world’s dominant economic power. But China is catching up.

EICHER: As Beijing’s power grows, so does its reach. And the Trump administration had responded with a direct and firm approach: exposing Chinese espionage and targeting its tech giants, among other measures.

But many are wondering whether the new administration set to take over in January will take a different approach. WORLD correspondent Jill Nelson reports.

JILL NELSON, REPORTER: For decades, the U.S. approach to China centered around engagement. But playing nice with China did nothing to curb Beijing’s dangerous ambitions. Then the Trump administration took office.

POMPEO: We see the Chinese communist party also for what it is: The central threat of our times. 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was part of a team that initiated a strategic foreign policy shift from the Middle East to Asia. It exposed Chinese espionage, sanctioned officials involved in human rights abuses against the Uyghur minority, and targeted Chinese tech companies. The Trump administration also levied tariffs on Chinese goods in an effort to stop what it called unfair trade practices.

Joseph Bosco was the China country director for the Secretary of Defense from 2005 to 2006 and is on the advisory board of the Global Taiwan Institute. He has been concerned about China’s ambitions for 20 years and applauded the Trump administration’s new approach.

BOSCO: I would give them a grade of “A.”  In my lifetime, there’s never been an administration that has been willing to take on the China threat the way the Trump administration has.  Now that doesn’t mean I agree with everything the president himself has said and tweeted.

Bosco says he’s cautiously pessimistic about what the Biden administration might do in 2021.

BOSCO: At most I would predict we’re going to see a C to C minus performance by the Biden administration, potentially worse, but also potentially much better. 

Some have questioned President-elect Joe Biden’s clarity on the China threat based on statements like this one from 2019:

BIDEN: China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man.

But during the February Democratic Party debate, Biden took a much firmer stance on Chinese President Xi Jinping:

BIDEN: This is a guy who doesn’t have a democratic with a small “d” bone in his body. This is a guy who is a thug, who in fact has a million Uighurs in reconstruction camps, meaning concentration camps.

Zack Cooper analyzes U.S.-China competition for the American Enterprise Institute. He says it’s unclear at this point which way the new administration will lean. But he’s optimistic about Antony Blinken, Biden’s nominee for secretary of state. And Jake Sullivan, the pick for national security adviser.

COOPER: You’ve got Jake Sullivan and Tony Blinken who have a lot of experience handling Asia policy and have thought a lot about China as well, and tend to take a pretty tough line.

But on the other hand…

COOPER: Then you’ve got the secretary of defense nominee,  Loyd Austin who has really no Asia experience. Uhm, And then you’ve got a couple of folks at the White House who are not technically handling foreign policy issues but are going to I think be important in the debate. So one is Susan Rice who is now going to be the domestic policy council head but she was the national security advisor under Obama. And then of course John Kerry who was the Secretary of State under Obama and is now going to be this climate change czar.

Cooper says both Kerry and Rice shouldn’t be involved in China policy, but it’s pretty clear to a lot of people that they will be. Both have advocated in the past for engagement with the Chinese.

Domestic challenges will likely be top priority for the incoming Biden team: COVID-19 and the economic crisis. But Bosco says he’s watching for whether or not Biden accepts a congratulatory phone call from Taiwan’s president. China considers Taiwan part of its territory, so any recognition of Taipei’s independent government ruffles feathers in Beijing.

If Biden takes that call, Bosco says that could be an indicator of what’s to come.

BOSCO: One remarkable thing President-elect Trump did is accept a congratulatory phone call from president Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan. This shocked the foreign policy establishment. “My heavens, what are you doing talking with that person? We don’t recognize that country. China will be offended.” And Trump’s response was, “I think I can talk to anyone I choose to.”

And one way Zack Cooper says the Biden administration could do even better than its predecessor is to create a united front to push back on Chinese aggression.

COOPER: I think this is one difference between the Biden team and the Trump team is the Biden team is going to talk a lot about alliances and trying to tighten those alliances and I think that in general is the right approach.

This is one reason why he avoids the term “great power competition.”

COOPER: When you go to your friends who might not be great powers, and say the U.S. is in a great power competition with China, what they take away from that is that they don’t really have a big role to play in that competition.

And that is far from the truth. With Beijing claiming nearly all of the South China Sea and building up its military might, Joseph Bosco says it will take more than a strong U.S. response to deal with the growing threat. 

BOSCO: I think many people around the world, not just in the United States, are awakening to the danger and starting to think about coming together as an international community to cope with it. So that’s grounds for hope.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Jill Nelson.


MARY REICHARD, HOST: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: voting … again!

One week from today Georgia voters will go back to the polls for two high-stakes Senate runoffs. The outcome will determine whether Democrats or Republicans control the Senate.

NICK EICHER, HOST: While all eyes are on Georgia, there’s a group of first-time voters also getting lots of attention, too: Students who turn 18 before the January 5th. That’s the date of the runoff. WORLD Senior Correspondent Myrna Brown has their story.

AUDIO: [Student chit chat, Are you all doing in person or online school? In person.]

MYRNA BROWN, REPORTER: Sitting 6 feet apart in black folding chairs,  six  high school seniors chit chat about sports, on-line classes, and voting for the very first time.

NICHOLAS OGBURN: I think I’ll walk in nervous but excited. 

RUBEN LEON TORRES: I actually don’t have a decision yet. I’m still deciding. 

CAITLIN PATCH: I feel like I’ll walk in confident and excited but I’m also nervous because this is a whole new thing for us…

Like 23,000 other Georgia teens, Ra’Nyia Dunn was too young to vote in the November 3rd general election. But when the varsity cheerleader turned 18 on December 15th, her grandmother reminded her about her new adult responsibility. 

RA’NYIA DUNN: She was like, have you registered to vote because it’s going to be a runoff election.

Taryn Lambert’s 18th birthday was the fuel that ignited her family’s dormant sense of civic duty. 

TARYN LAMBERT: None of my family ever voted in an election, like my mom or my dad before and they’re like, it’s really important that we get out and vote and finally use that privilege and right that we have as Americans.

Nicholas Ogburn turned 18 on December 14th. As a dual enrollment student, he took a college course in government last semester.  Back then, the right and privilege to vote was just another chapter in his textbook.

NICHOLAS OGBURN: Whenever I took the class. We never talked about a runoff election, like it was just a vocab term. 

Now Ogburn says he  understands what’s at stake. So does his classmate, Ruben Leon-Torres. He turned 18 on Veterans Day.

RUBEN LEON: If it goes all blue that means laws and bills can pass easily as the Democrats will pass on the ideas of the new president-elect. And if it goes red, that’s the only thing that will be able to stop him, as they have different ideas. 

And because all ideas have consequences, Morgan Hannah says she’s doing her best to resist the urge to lean to her own understanding.  

MORGAN HANNAH: To me, religion is so important to the election. It’s going off of what God says is right for me and not what I say is right or what other people think is right. So that’s been affecting how I’m going to vote, I think.

Dunn and Ogburn are also counting on their faith to guide them as they prepare to vote in the runoff elections. 

RA’NYIA DUNN: If I pray, if I pray about the decisions that I know are going to be tough for me, He’ll guide me and lead me to the right decision because, God is God, you know.

NICK OGBURN: So I’m preparing for this election mainly through conversations with a lot of the people from church. Because a lot of mornings before service we’ll sit through, we’ll talk about politics.

But Torres and Lambert have different perspectives on the role faith should play in political choices.

TARYN LAMBERT: For me personally, I really don’t follow any specific religion. I’m not Christian. I consider myself agnostic. 

RUBEN LEON-TORRES: For me, I’m a Cathlolic. I don’t bring faith into politics. I mostly go based off of research and logical decisions of how it will affect me and everyone else.

MYRNA QUESTION TO STUDENTS: So let me ask you this, I heard a lot of you say, I know there are people in my family, we have different views, what is this teaching you about dealing with people who don’t think like you?

DUNN:  I grew up in all blue households. I’ve never actually had like an actual political kind of argument or conversation with somebody from the other side… but it definitely  has opened up my eyes to accept that we are the United States and we are one country and at the end of the day we have to agree to disagree.

PATCH: I think it’s really important to realize that it’s ok that everyone or people have different opinions than you and I think it comes down to respecting that.

LAMBERT: And despite your age, it doesn’t make you any less knowledgeable or your feelings are just as important.

OGBURN: It’s teaching me a lot about patience and not getting loud within a conversation. 

AUDIO: [Stacking chairs]

As they neatly fold and re-stack their chairs, these young, first-time voters say whatever the outcomes of next week’s races, their participation ensures they’ll one day have a story to tell their children.

HANNAH: I’ll probably tell them, it’s all part of His plan. So like either way it goes, it will affect the future the way it is supposed to.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Myrna Brown in Lawrenceville, Georgia.


NICK EICHER, HOST: Not too late for another Christmas story, I hope. Think back to childhood and try to remember what you thought about the logistics of Santa Claus entering your home by way of a chimney. What kid didn’t worry just a little about Santa getting stuck?

So, I have a stuck Santa story for you. More like a stuck, suspended Santa story.

This is so 2020. A Southern California Santa took to a paraglider to deliver candy canes when he flew into power lines. No, seriously.

It’s a horrible thought, but before I go any further, you need to know he didn’t get hurt. Colleen Boulisman was watching.

BOULISMAN: It’s funny because that’s how 2020’s been, and then you see Santa? It’s like, what? That’s crazy.

Well, Santa’s crazy like that. But his journey to spread Christmas cheer went awry. 

Chris Vestal with the fire department told television station KCRA…

VESTAL: He was trying to deliver candy canes to kids that were playing throughout the community, so we commend him for that.

Good intentions, yet 200 customers lost power while crews shut it down to complete the rescue. But there’s good news. Santa is doing just fine after enduring a frightening hour dangling upside down. 

REICHARD: What Santa won’t do.

It’s The World and Everything in It.


NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Tuesday, December 29th. We’re so glad you’ve joined us today for The World and Everything in It. 

Good morning. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard.

A hearty word of thanks. We have reached our December Giving Drive goal! 

Our most ambitious yet, and you continue to shower generosity on our work here. 

We still have a few days to go, so let’s see how far we can take it. 

Every additional dollar goes to additional WORLD reporting … as we’ve heard so frequently from you, that’s what you want.

EICHER: It’s a consistent message, “just do more.” 

REICHARD: But I just had to take a minute to say thanks for what you’ve done. What an encouragement.

This week, we’re going to take a couple opportunities to think again about some of the most memorable stories of the year. On New Year’s Eve, we’ll look back at the most significant news events and play excerpts of some of our coverage.

EICHER: Today, Executive Producer Paul Butler highlights our top five feature stories of 2020. These picks are based on your downloads and positive feedback. We’ll post links to each of the complete stories in today’s transcript.

Our first story may not be suitable for younger listeners. So if you have children around, this is the time to pause the program and come back a little later. The subject is the abortion issue and, while important, some of the details may not be appropriate for your younger ones.

Here now is Paul Butler.

PAUL BUTLER: The best feature stories include memorable people that make news personal. A year ago, Congress was debating the born alive infant protection act. Many politicians argued that there wasn’t a compelling reason for the proposed bill. Lora Geer disagreed. Les Sillars reported on her story in January

In 1998 Geer was a seminary student doing a chaplain residency at the University of North Carolina Medical Center at Chapel Hill. 

One night she awoke to a phone alert from the hospital. When she arrived at the maternity ward, she was ushered into a utility closet. 

LORA: [And I] walked in and there was a baby that was laying naked on the counter…

LES SILLARS: A mortuary tag said his name was Brian. Brian looked to her like a postcard baby, far beyond 20 and a half weeks’ gestation. Abortion was supposed to be illegal after that point in North Carolina. She picked him up.

LORA: Then one of the nurses, she said, this baby’s survived an abortion and she turned around and left and I was by myself. I rocked him and I sang to him like I would want his mother to do. That was one of the hardest things to be honest to turn around and leave that child there. 

BUTLER: Next, an anniversary that led to one of our most listened to stories of the year. In summer 2017, Cory Godbolt killed eight people in rural Lincoln County, Mississippi. Kim Henderson spoke to members of the victims’ families, and a reporter who closely followed the story. 

KIM HENDERSON: The American justice system attempts to set things right with penalties, and that’s fitting and proper. But Christian hearts long for the “something more” of Biblical justice: the “making victims whole again” dimension. 

Myrtis May gets that. She lost her daughter and son-in-law in Godbolt’s rampage three years ago, but trusting in God keeps her hopeful. She believes He is at work.

MAY: The community as a whole may not see it, but I see a bigger picture…

And Apel, still pumping out daily news reports, admits this story and its people changed her life.  

APEL: I don’t want them to ever be forgotten. Because, I mean, even I refer to it as the Cory Godbolt case, but it’s not. It’s William Durr. It’s Barbara Mitchell, Brenda May, Tocarra May, Austin Edwards, Jordan Blackwell, Sheila and Ferral Burage…

BUTLER: Kim Henderson produced this story as a four part serial for the program, and a stand alone special episode. Another serial story we produced this year took you to the California town of Paradise—two years after the costliest wildfire in U.S. history. 

WORLD reporter Sarah Schweinsberg travelled to the region and produced a three-part serial and 38-minute special episode. 

SARAH SCHWEINSBERG: Down in Chico, authorities closed any uphill traffic. That meant panicked Paradise residents couldn’t rush back up to their houses to save pets or grab things from their houses. 

But it also meant cars leaving Paradise could drive in all four lanes of the Skyway Highway, moving traffic faster. As the Harps started down the Skyway, flames licked their vehicles. Trees and houses on either side of the road burned. They were driving through a tunnel of fire.

DONNIE HARP: When we started heading down, that uphill lane… the flames were blowing, and getting real close to the truck. It was so hot. That was the first moment that we got to see the flames and people’s houses burning, literally everything else was just black.

That’s when Donnie had a stark realization.

DONNIE HARP: The whole trip, I was looking at my mirror, is my wife behind me is my wife behind me, you know, headlights. And all of a sudden the Lord revealed to me right there, that if Tanya stop, I couldn’t. And realizing that I had three of our six kids with me. If she stopped, I had to keep going. And that was the most humbling moment of my life. That’s when God really, really clarified how little control we have.

BUTLER: Every month, all of our feature reporters gather for a Zoom meeting. One of the things we do each time is review one story. We walk through the whole production process and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the story.

One of our reporter’s favorite features of the year was a beautiful profile written by Myrna Brown. She introduced us to home cook Robin Dill who makes pies with dementia patients. 

ROBIN DILL: Ok, you crank. Perfect. Keep going. Look at you.

DENISE: I love it!

ROBIN DILL: Isn’t that cool?

DENISE: Yeah!

MYRNA BROWN: Rod, burly and at times impatient, mixes the apples and the spices.

ROD: Can I go ahead and put my top on?

ROBIN DILL: Not yet. We’ve got to have apples in there. He’s so funny.

ROBIN DILL: Even people whose brains are failing them, they still want to be purposeful.

Denise, Rod and Steve will get to share the fruits of their labor with their caregivers, another benefit of apple pie making.

ROBIN HILL: My tummy says it’s happy, what does your tummy say?

STEVE: (GROWL)

MUSIC: THE LORD’S BEEN GOOD TO ME

BUTLER: And finally, during 2020, there were of course many COVID related stories. One of our most inspirational profiles was of 83-year old Atlanta bus driver Tommy Bates. During the city’s stay-at-home orders, he continued to drive his bus route—not to pick kids up, but rather, to deliver school lunches to the students.

Bonnie Pritchett told his story.

BATES: Good morning Alexis! 

BONNIE PRITCHETT: Bates is aware of his potential influence on the students. He’s the first person associated with the schools the students encounter each day. And now, during the global pandemic, he and his partners may be the only ones. 

BATES: I’ve got a ready smile and I’m a happy guy. And I’m an up guy. And they see that. And that’s just naturally who the Lord has made me. And the way I see my relationship with them, the hope that I see, is kinda like, kinda like a ripple on a lake. You know. You throw a rock in the lake and it creates ripples and the ripples go and go and go and go. You just don’t have any idea what influence you’re having. I hope it’s good.

AUDIO: [BUS PULLING AWAY]

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Bonnie Pritchett.


BUTLER: And I’m Paul Butler.

One more thing, since 2018 I’ve been the features editor for WORLD Radio—meaning I get to work everyday with our full-time and freelance reporters as they put together stories like these you’ve just heard. Every one of them started as just an idea, and together we worked through how to develop them into memorable and inspirational stories. 

As we approach the end of our December giving drive, I’d like to thank you for your faithful support of biblically sound journalism. Your gifts make these stories possible. Whether traveling to Paradise, California, Duluth, Georgia, or Lincoln County, Mississippi. 

This is WORLD’s December Giving Drive. Every gift serves only to strengthen this work and make more of it possible. Please visit WNG.org/donate and help secure the future for sound journalism … grounded in God’s word. WNG.org/donate.


MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Tuesday, December 29th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher.

Well, for many of us, it’s time to take down the Christmas decor. But there’s a silver lining. Here’s commentator Kim Henderson.

KIM HENDERSON, COMMENTATOR: We have drunk deeply of Christmas at our house, and now it is the dregs I must finish off. Yes, the dreaded Christmas tree dismantle.

It is a solo task, while the decorating of the thing was a joyful group activity with  cider brewing in the background.

Oh, well. I am eager to be done with it, as well as all the other undoing of the season. Away with you, gift wrap scraps. Out of here, bow that keeps falling off the mailbox. Get thee behind me, sugar cookies.

Let me be clear that when I say Christmas tree, I’m talking about the real variety, the kind that was beautiful two weeks ago but by Dec. 26th had become a browning has-been, as used up and discarded as the gift tags scattered beneath it.

In our family, it’s always cedar or pine trees, and they’re always cut on our land. It’s tradition like that of which Tevye sings in “Fiddler on the Roof,” and my husband and I, we hold on to it. Fast. 

Our children always dreamed of the bought kind of tree, those Fraser firs with full limbs and even needling that OTHER families buy. Ok, so our property’s pickings were especially slim one year and we meshed two scrawny cedars together. Does that make us weird or something?

(You don’t have to answer that.)

In such cases, tree décor is affected, too. The kids weren’t fans of my use of trailing tulle, but what can I say? You try to make a tree with its back side missing look good without some fluff and stuff. It isn’t easy.

And, yes, I admit the paper-mache star droops a bit (every year).

I know the strands of pearls are a bit too Victorian.

I realize we need more lights. (I’m waiting for the LED craze to plateau.)

So yes, it can be a battle, hanging on to traditions. And dismantling a real (now really dead) tree is also a battle. I have scrapes on my forearms to prove it. With the ornaments safely tucked away, I grab rubber gloves from the kitchen and wrestle with lights. In the end I win. The tree is hobbled. Naked. Listing in its stand like a boat out of ballast.   

We stand there looking at each other, me and that tree. And I think to myself: Maybe now is a good time for the second chapter of Luke. Maybe now, with the trappings gone, in the quiet with bare and brown staring me down, I can finally appreciate Luke’s words. 

The great joy for all people. 

God’s favor resting on us. 

The shepherds’ amazement. 

Mary treasuring and pondering. 

Simeon focused on consolation. 

Anna bent on redemption. 

Eventually we toss the tree into a burn pile. It’s a “leave no trace” effort, and with the swipe of a vacuum cleaner, all remaining holly jolly is removed from our home.   

But not the joy. 

While the world dismantles Christmas this week, we cling to its Christ. 

I’m Kim Henderson.


NICK EICHER, HOST: Tomorrow: We’ll talk more about the Senate runoff in Georgia with WORLD senior political correspondent Jamie Dean.

That and more tomorrow. 

I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard.

The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.

WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.

Again, I’m so, so grateful for all the giving you’ve done during our December Giving Drive. Let’s see how far we can take it in the few days we have remaining. wng-dot-org-slash-donate

Well, God’s word reminds us: Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!

Go now in grace and peace.


WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

Like this story?

To hear a lot more like it, subscribe to The World and Everything in It via iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, or Pocket Casts.

iTunes

Free

Overcast

Free

Stitcher

Free

Pocket Casts

(Requires a fee)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.