Celebrating a remarkable birthPublished 11:09pm Friday, December 24, 2010
Members of our editorial staff have been writing letters this week to Santa Claus, expressing their thoughts about what they would like St. Nick to bring them. Since I wrote and mailed my letter to Santa several weeks ago, I’d like to share my thoughts differently by offering a prayer to my Lord and Savior.
“Dear Lord, it is with a humble heart that I bring this request to you on the day the world celebrates your remarkable birth more than 2,000 year ago. Lord I thank you for the many wonderful blessings you’ve given me; a wonderful wife and family and a vocation that I truly love. But Lord I come to you in prayer today to ask you to help our community in the coming year. As a community we’ve suffered greatly and while I know it is all part of your plan, I pray you’ll help us come together, to put aside our differences and work together to lift our community up. You see Lord, I understand the challenges you’ve laid in front of us; the heaviness of hearts and the weakness of minds, the economic struggles and the effects it has on us, and the strife and divisiveness that others seek to set upon us. But Lord I understand and have learned that if we trust in your plan and bring you into our hearts that you will guide us out of hard times and will help us see that together we can accomplish more for each other than we ever could by working apart.
And most of all Lord, I pray for those who don’t truly see you as the Lord and Savior, for I know their salvation is waiting; all they have to do is ask for it.”
In closing, I’d like to retell the greatest story of all, one that has been told thousands of times before today and one that will surely be told thousands of times after. Merry Christmas to each of you and I wish you all the blessings in the coming year.
Luke 2:1-20 (The birth of Jesus)
1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.
2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)
3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.
5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,
7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.
9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.
11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.