My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. It is a departure from my usual fare. Here’s a part:
Christmas is a time of joy, but shaded with guilt, for from the manger, we can see the cross. Jesus came into our ghastly world for the singular purpose of being brutally killed to atone for the sins of humankind — including my sins. It is sometimes difficult to take joy in the beginning of a story when you know how devastating the end is. But that isn’t the end of the story. Jesus rose in glory from the dead and waits in splendor to welcome us into our eternity. Because he rose, so shall we. From that, Christians take joy and meaning for our lives. This mortal life we lead is a transient prelude to a story whose end is not ours to write.
As we celebrate Christmas by giving gifts to each other, it is really a celebration of the gift that Jesus gave to us. Without the baby, we would not have the man. Without the man, we would not have our salvation. For that, Christians are forever thankful.
It is with this knowledge of our salvation that Christians walk through this mortal life with earnestness, confidence, joy, and love. Earnestness to do the most good with the gifts God gave us in the short time we have. Confidence in our destination. Joy in our purpose. Love for our fellow humans. It is with this in our hearts that I hope we will approach the issues that we will face together in 2021 and the years left to each of us.