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Good Tidings of Great Joy

If you only paid attention to the media reports you would be challenged to find something joyful. I choose not to watch the news regularly because the majority of reporting features tragedy after tragedy. I look at the faces of the reporters and it appears as if they have become numb to the news they share. It is sad that the highlights of our day involve the hardships and setbacks of people in our communities, rather than the good news happening around us.

Christmas is a time to reflect upon good tidings of great joy. Your child's first Christmas. Your first Christmas in your new home. Your first Christmas where you did not max out credit cards to buy presents. Your first Christmas celebrating a substantial weight loss or triumph over a lingering health issue. There are so many messages of hope, faith, and love around us that carry a much greater significance than those we read and hear in the media. We need to focus more on those stories.

This is also a time when we should be empathetic to those who struggle this time of the year. Christmas is about family and many lost loved ones this year. None of us should be so consumed in our own celebrations that we ignore the tears and silent cries of others, orphans, widows, homeless, and others need to know about the good tidings of great joy that are the headlines of Christmas. Hallmark and Lifetime have saturated us with corny, sappy, Christmas themed movies that are predictable from the first scene. However, these movies remind us that love does exist and the spirit of Christmas is alive.

I wish each of you a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous 2023.

"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

- Luke 2:8-14 (NIV)

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