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A Wish of Joy, Love, and Compassion

It’s a couple of days before Christmas, and all through the house, there is so much stirring, I hope the cat gets the mouse.

I’m sure there’s a lot of this going on all over our little neck of Penn’s Woods as the kids are now home from college, family members have traveled home for the holidays, and the hustle and bustle of last-minute gift shopping and meal preparations are in full swing.

Let me be the first to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and most joyous holiday season. Please take the time to come together as family, friends, and loved ones to enjoy this most amazing season. Please find the good in everything and everyone. Check all political conversations at the door until after the New Year. Make sure you give the cook or cooks a great big hug and say thank you for the amazing meal. Last but not least, if you don’t have something nice to say, keep it to yourself. This applies whether you’re sitting at the family table, are on social media, or your lips are moving in general.

If there are family members, friends, or neighbors that choose to be alone for whatever reason, make sure that holiday spirit in the form of that special plate of leftovers with double dessert and/or a phone call find their way. This is so much needed in our world of today.

Please take the time to share that special Christmas spirit. Whether it be through prayer, the gift of time, or donation with a complete stranger. This can be with someone locally or a person halfway around the world.

Luke 2:11, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”

These words announcing the arrival of baby Jesus define the Miracle of Christmas. This begins the greatest father-son story ever written. From Immanuel’s humble birth and resting peacefully in a manger to his final hours of suffering and crucifixion, it is truly a story about God’s love. Through this infinite love of man, God provides all of us that shining star of guidance and forgiveness through acceptance.

As we celebrate Christmas as Christians, we must share this love with our fellow man no matter of their beliefs, road traveled, or life chosen.

Within the blueprint provided, it is clearly up to us to provide unconditional love and respect for our fellow man, not mortal judgment. There has never been a time in the chronological history labeled AD that this has been more important. There are forces at work that only want to divide and create hatred. The best thing we can do to improve our world is to unconditionally love and show respect for our fellow man.

With those thoughts in mind, if you are not a Christian, I ask you to please never be offended by the words “Merry Christmas.” It is my religion’s way to seasonally greet one another in an attempt to spread joy and peace in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is not predicated on the other’s religious beliefs or ever intended to be anything but positive.

If anyone from any other religion greeted me with a message of religious celebration in the name of good, I would never find offense. I would be honored for the sharing and inclusion into another’s beliefs. If I did not understand the message, I would probably just nod my head and smile. If I did understand the message, I would probably repeat it back to them out of respect and smile.

Incidentally, just because you love and show respect for your fellow man doesn’t mean you agree with all or any of their beliefs.

This, as always, is my last column for the year. Next week Editor Steph will have page 2 as we celebrate local organizations that do so much with our annual charity pages. Before I finish up, a reminder in the pages ahead to check out all the names of the amazing boys and girls that entered our Christmas Fun Coloring Contest. And oh yes, the winners are in there, congratulations to all!

Again, I wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and safe travels throughout the holiday season.

God Bless America.

Jim Webb