About Christmas, peace and good will
During the holidays, many people voice their cynicism about “Peace on Earth, good will to men.” This is based on two misconceptions. The actual English translation of the angels’ greeting is, “Glory to God in the highest; and on Earth peace to men of good will.” The good will does not flow to the men, but from them. The peace is not for all, but for those whose hearts are ready.
That brings up the second misconception: the peace mentioned in the angels’ message is not the peace of the world but peace of mind and peace of soul, knowing that God is with us, and that He is in control.
That was for the cynics. Now for fellow Christians. First: the “X” in “X-mas” is actually the Greek letter chi, the first letter in the word “Christos,” the Greek word for Christ. The letter chi was used for centuries by the church to stand for the title “Christ.” Many Protestant churches also do not understand that the overlapping “X-P,” the “Chi-Rho,” are the first two letters of the word “Christ” in Greek. The use of “X-mas” for Christmas was used for centuries, even by church leaders.
Second, for those who believe that celebrating Christmas is pagan: Isaiah Chapter 9 disagrees, declaring, “They joy before you according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.” There’s no better way to describe the unbridled joy of children on Christmas morning. And those “pagan trappings” were used by the early church to guide pagans away from their own winter festivals into the church, converting most of Europe.
Christmas is a season of hope in the middle of the darkest, coldest part of the year.
— Kelly D. Will
To whomever found my lost checkbook on Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 18, at WalMart and turned it in immediately, all I can say is thank you … and God.
My shopping list was attached to it, and I was more upset about forgetting something on that list I needed and having to make another trip.
Again, thank you, and may God bless you and yours. Merry Christmas … you made mine nicer.
— Larry Craver
We all know that the reason the for the season is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. I was rewarded however last week with a joyous surprise and would like to share it with you.
I have just returned from a three-month extended vacation in Colorado, and before I went out there I had visited the Spencer Doll and Toy Museum and found it to be a delightful place to spend an hour or so because of the unique antique displays of toys and trains. I stopped in last week again and I was rewarded with the best Christmas present ever.
A group of small boys were having a birthday party. As I watched them I was taken back to the joys and pleasures of a small boy’s Christmas. As they were playing with the train sets, their joy and excitement could not be contained. Their eyes sparkled, and voices of laughter and excitement lit up the entire room.
Their laughter and joy was infectious. I looked around and everyone in there was smiling. It reminded me of the commercial I have seen recently on TV about the Biltmore experience — a time back in history when life was simpler and the joys and pleasures were great.
If I don’t receive another gift this year I feel as if I have already received enough. Just by being in the right place at the right time and enjoying their enthusiasm, childlike wonder and watching the true joy of Christmas was a great gift indeed.
What a true gem the Spencer Doll and Toy Museum is! It has the power to present us with the joys of our childhood when times were much simpler and we could enjoy life and love straight from the heart.
— Richard Gazoo
Another wrap artist
I was delighted by writer Bob Houck’s article (Dec. 15, “Looking for a way to beat the wrap”) in which he expresses alarm about the phrase “licensed gift wrap.”
This is the season for many of us to be both merry and reverent by turns, a tall order. In his last sentence, Houck pleads, “Will somebody out there help an old guy?”
Sorry, but we’re too busy coping with our own gift wrap!
— Patricia Maloney