Let us reflect today on what Christmas is really about — a religious celebration that means so much to so many in our country and around the world.
This holiday is observed in its purest form by Christians who attach themselves to particular religions, and many Christians who don’t. What unifies them all today is the ages-old Christmas story:
“Mary brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger; for there was no room for them in the inn.
“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
“And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shown about them. And they were sore afraid.
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for behold I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
“And this shall be a sign unto you. You shall find the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”
It is a beautiful, inspiring story that we hope brings hope and comfort to those who ponder it in this sometimes uncomfortable world.
While we join with our families and those who are close to us today, we encourage you to remember that many of our loved ones — sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, friends and co-workers — are in dangerous places around the world. Unforgiving places such as Afghanistan. Our thoughts and prayers are with them as they serve as members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Please remember also those whose lives are in distress. So many among us graciously opened our hearts, and our pocketbooks, to those in need during the holiday season. Our communities are better because of this outpouring of generosity, so let’s try to cling to that spirit of caring year round.
Merry Christmas to all. May you find joy in the season.
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”