Christmas . . . the season when hope is accentuated.
It all started when a young Jewish girl named Mary, a virgin, was asked if she would be the mother of the hoped for Christ child. She agreed, and Christmas is the time when we celebrate His birth.
The birth of the Christ child brought hope for peace in the world. While some defy the hoped for peace, most people continue to hope and pray that it will come. As strange as it may sound, many have fought and died in an effort to rid the world of tyranny and to achieve peace in the world.
As people shop in hope of getting that perfect gift for a friend or loved one, we remember that God gave us the perfect gift . . . the gift of forgiveness and the hope of life everlasting . . . when the Christ child paid for the sins of humankind.
Today, children hope that Santa will overlook their misdeeds and remember only the pleasure they brought to others. Of course they also hope that that Santa will remember to put that hoped for toy or toys under the Christmas tree.
Mom and Dad hope that the kids will be pleased with their gifts, and hope their day will be filled with joy.
There is hope too, that those who believe the universe and all life forms are simply because of a series of coincidences, will have their road to Damascus moment. The hope is that they become enlightened so that they may share in the hope and happiness enjoyed by those who believe.
During the Christmas season, as hopes and prayers for peace abound, charity of spirit towards others just seems to become easier to do. We hope that charity of spirit will ease the racial tensions that have been recently heightened.
As we see the Salvation Army kettles, we have multiple hopes that cross our mind . . . we hope that those in need can have their prayers answered . . . we hope that the joy of Christmas will give them comfort and bring them hope . . . and we hope the families will find their way to better days . . . and we give thanks for those in the Salvation Army who devote their lives to bringing hope to those less fortunate.
We read the signs in from of St. Vincent de Paul telling us how many families need help in filling their larder so that they can have a festive meal, and we hope as those families do, that the joy of the season will cause people to share in their bounty. And we are thankful for all those at St. Vincent de Paul who work to make that happen.
We are thankful too, for all those individuals and organizations that work and contribute their time, effort, and money, to hopefully ease the burden of those in need.
And, we hope that our military serving in locations across the globe will be safe as they work to bring peace where there is conflict. And we give them our grateful thanks and hope and pray they will return home safely to their family, friends, and loved ones.
We hope too, that those who are in harm's way will have their peaceful moments as they, hopefully, enjoy a phone or Skype call and share their love with their families so far away.
And we hope that carolers will bring the spirit of Christmas to those in nursing homes and to neighborhoods so all can feel the joy of the season.
We hope that our Churches are full as children present the nativity scene and, as the play ends, the lights are dimmed as each member of the congregation holds their lighted candle and reverently sing all the verses of "Silent Night".
On that eve of Christmas, we hope that there is no one who is homeless, that a room at the inn has been found for everyone.
As we head off to bed, we hope that we will wake to see that Santa Claus and his reindeer remembered the address to our house. We hope too, that he drank the milk and ate the cookies we left for him . . . and, of course, we really, really hope that he got our Christmas letter telling him the things we wished for.
A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.
And, by the way, Ho-Ho-Ho is short for Hope-Hope-Hope.
(Bob Meade is a Laconia resident.)
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