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             Volume 11  Issue 12                                                                  December 2018

         Christmas Peace

         Ever since the angels filled the night sky over a lonely Bethlem field and sang to startled shepherds,

         “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and PEACE on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” Luke 2:14

         Ever since the…. “PEACE” has been part of the message of Christmas.  An important part of what the com-
         ing of Christ as the Babe of Bethlehem, born to be a Savior, is all about.  We sing of it in our beloved Christ-
         mas Carols:

         “and praises sing to God our King, and peace ion earth” “O Little Town of Bethlehem” v.3

         “peace on earth good will to men, from heaven’s all gracious King” “when peace shall over all the world its
         ancient splendors fling”  “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” v. 1, 4

         “sleep in heavenly peace” “Silent Night” v.1

         “and to the earth be peace” “While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks” v.5

         “Peace! Peace!” “Good Christian Men Rejoice” v.3

         “peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled” “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” v. 1

         So … PEACE is an important part of the Christmas message … yet, can we be honest?  For many peo-
         ple Christmas does not bring peace but loneliness or pain.  Some are living through the first Christmas since
         the death of a loved one … or still living with the pain of a loss from many years ago.  Some have experi-
         enced a broken relationship and this Christmas finds them alone.  Some are dealing with serious ill-
         ness.  Some are separated by long miles from loved ones.  Some are dealing with hard financial is-
         sues.  Some are broken with family.  Peace?  Ha!  The sparkling lights and sentimental songs only serve to
         deepen their pain!

         Jill Jackson was such a person.  She lost her mother when she was three and when her father remarried, he
         and his new wife decided they didn’t want the burden of a child and turned her over to the state.  She longed
         to be adopted … to have a forever family … to share Christmas joy with a family.  Yet time and again she
         was passed over.  As a young adult Jill finally married … and then gave birth to a beautiful daughter.  Finally
         happiness!  Finally joy!  Finally peace!  But it was all short lived.  Her husband left her for another woman
         and in the waning days of World War II Jill found herself a penniless single mother.

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