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A Christmas Wish of Hope, Love, and Compassion

A very Merry Christmas to everyone! Let’s all be careful out there while enjoying all that is a blessed Holiday Season. Please remember to say thank you to all that prepare the perfectly delicious Christmas feast. Absolutely no political discussions until after the New Year. And let’s keep the conversation around the table joyous and positive.

The most quoted and famous bible verse in the history of Christianity, “For God so loved the world he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16. This should bring warmth to your heart, a smile to your face, and provide peace of mind. This is truly what the Christmas spirit is all about.

At a time when the world has never been more complicated, and true evil can be seen and viewed every day, the answer can be found in the greatest father-son story ever told.

The Bible and its teachings can often be difficult to interpret and even harder to follow without sin. Our God understood this and provided us a back-up plan and a clear message in John 3:16. It couldn’t be spelled out any clearer. Believe and accept Jesus Christ as your savior as he is the provider of forgiveness and all that is good in the world and ever after.

The miracle of Christmas enhances this message along with one of the most important intangibles during our journey through life, that of hope. That when things get tough in our mortal world, and bad things happen by choice or chance, God has provided a plan, and it begins with accepting Jesus.

Christmas celebrates the birth of our Lord and savior’s arrival on Earth. Please make some time during the Christmas festivities to talk with your children and explain God’s plan.

Get out and about and share your Christmas spirit with the older members of your family that may be homebound or in a nursing facility. Help to lift up the spirits for those that are missing a loved one at the family table.

On Christmas Eve, don’t forget to leave Jolly Old Saint Nicholas those special cookies and milk. He is truly working in the name of good. And Santa’s story is a special time in children’s lives. Father John Manno taught me that both need to be embraced and explained during this joyous season.

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. 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 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.

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 faith’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.

If anyone from any other religion greeted me with a message of religious celebration in the name of good, I would never find it offensive. Incidentally, just because you love and show respect for your fellow man doesn’t mean you agree with all 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, congrats to all!

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

God Bless America.

Jim Webb