Christmas 2011: Hope for a Better World by Peggy Godfrey
This year is ending on a high note as many troops are returning from abroad to their families in time for the holidays and Christmas. Their unselfish service to our country sets a standard for all of us during this season of good will toward all men. During World War I on Christmas 1914 eve and day, many German and British soldiers actually walked across their trenches to sing Christmas carols and exchange holiday greetings. These troops demonstrated the true spirit of Christmas which is a model for all of us during the coming year.
This holiday which only comes once each year encourages us to have good will toward everyone. Love of neighbor was a prominent message of the tiny baby who was born in a humble stable in Bethlehem. Christians accept him as Saviour for all the world. The spirit of Christmas fostered by Christ's birth can pervade our thoughts and actions including that we should love our neighbors.
At Christmas time relatives are visited, presents are opened , the Christmas music rings out: Silent Night, Deck the Hall, and White Christmas; and the bells chime as people gather to pray. It is a day of good cheer. But this is also the beginning of another year which can produce hope for a better world. The season is one of brotherly love, charity and generosity toward all in need. This year many people are out of work, in danger of losing their homes, or suffering other immense hardships. Opportunities will continue to present themselves for helping those less fortunate during the coming year.
The compassion shown at Christmas should continue with all of us in the future. Christmas gives us all the opportunity to open up our hearts and minds and to work for a better world. The words of Samuel Johnson still ring true: "Whatever else be lost among the years, Let us keep Christmas still a shining thing: Whatever doubts assail us, or what fears, Let us hold close one day, remembering Its poignant meaning for the hearts of men. Let us get back our childlike faith again." It is hard to disagree
In the December 22, 2011 issue of the Westchester Guardian