Merry Christmas!

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By Dave Bell

The decorations are up, the cards are sent, the carols are being played, the holiday goodies have been baked and – unless you’re a world-class procrastinator – the gifts have been purchased.

It’s nearly Christmas time!

As we approach Christmas Day this Friday, it’s an appropriate time to reflect on the many things for which we are thankful. Family, friends and health come to mind easily.

And even though it’s been a tough year economically for many among us, we can always find the silver lining to those economic clouds. Hopefully, we’ve seen the bottom of the recession, and we can look forward to better days ahead.

This season, we’ve witnessed the generous spirit of Fayette County residents, as they have stepped up to help those among us who have fallen on hard times. When the call went out that the CEFS food pantry supplies were low, people responded. Collection boxes were put out at several businesses around the area, and donations poured in. Others have contributed to Caring & Sharing or the Salvation Army. Still others have provided needy children with coats and hats and shoes to keep them warm this winter.

That’s just the way people are here in Fayette County. The government profiles say that we’re a poor county; yet those statistics don’t reflect the way people here are willing to help one another out – even if they don’t have a lot themselves.

But the Christmas season is more than family, gifts and generosity. At the bottom of it all, it’s the celebration of the birth of Jesus – the long-awaited savior, sent by God to bridge the gap between the creator and his creation.

Christ’s coming was predicted centuries before his birth. The Old Testament prophet Isaiah put it this way: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

In the New Testament book of Luke, an angel appeared to a group of frightened shepherds saying: “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”

On many levels, Christmas is about just that – good news and great joy. It’s about God reaching out to us...offering hope and wholeness to a needy world.

Amidst the hustle and bustle of the holiday, listen for the quiet, timeless message of the season. It’s truly good news.

Merry Christmas!