Christmas All Year Long

Published 10:11 am Sunday, December 24, 2023

By Dean Kelly

Minister, Highland Home Church of Christ

It was right before Christmas, the year was 1968. I was the editor of the school newspaper at the Junior High on the Yokota Air Force Base in Japan. The Vietnam war was at one of its worst times, including the Tet Offensive which had happened earlier in that year.

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My father was a medic who flew Air Evac flights that brought the wounded from Vietnam to either Japan, or to hospitals in the United States. He told me many stories about the sadness he felt as he watched young men who had lost their limbs, or their sight, as he served them on flights to America. 

One heartbreaking story was that of one young man who had lied about his age and gotten into the military. He celebrated his 16th birthday on an evac flight. He had somehow survived a land mine that caused him to lose both legs and one arm. Just one of hundreds of stories my father saw played out in person.

It was announced right before I was to write my editorial that a one-day truce had been reached: Dec. 25, 1968. There would be no one shot, there would be no napalm, no machine guns, no overrun outposts – for one day, Christmas Day.

I wrote my editorial that week. I noted the one-day truce. I simply asked the question, if we can stop all hostilities for a day, why couldn’t we stop them all year? We talk about “peace and goodwill toward men” (Luke 2:14) looking at Christmas. However, why can’t we give Glory to God in the highest (Luke 2:14) every day of the entire year.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we carried the spirit of Jesus’s birth and life 365 days, and not just during a limited season. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if humanity could call a “truce” on hatred, enmity, abuse, and war every day of every year? 

Why can’t it be “Christmas” all year long, remembering not only Jesus’ birth, but His ultimate sacrifice for us on the cross to bring us true peace and joy?

Happy Holidays to all!