December 25, 2016In November we remembered our veterans with an observance of veterans day and in December we will celebrate Christmas. Our veterans made sacrifices for our freedom and our nation and Jesus made a sacrifice for our salvation. This is the true meaning of Christmas, giving of one’s self for the benefit of others. Last week I mentioned giving blood as a way to give to others. Some of us ring bells, others cook for a neighbor while others make an extra contribution to their favorite charity. No matter what you choose to do to “serve others” remember to keep Christmas in your heart. Rejoice in what we have been given by others and remember our freedom and salvation are precious gifts that are not free but have already been paid for by others.
This past week we once again saw the agents of evil utilize a single actor to perpetrate an act of violence against the peaceful people of faith. The army of radical Islam aims to destroy any culture that does not embrace their beliefs. There are those that say we need to remove celebrations that embrace Judea-Christian values such as Christmas celebrations so as not to offend others. They would have us secularize the Christmas season. They say we should call the Christmas season “Winter Break”, that a Christmas tree is not a Christmas tree and we should all wish each other a “Happy Holidays”. The proponents of this approach hide behind the first amendment. The idea behind the first amendment is not to remove our values from public view, the first amendment actually provides protection for us to celebrate our values. The way we win against the agents of evil who seek to destroy Christmas is not to “go along” with them but to rather embrace our values and culture. Celebrate our faith and to always remember Christmas.
My neighbor next door when I was growing up, Renate, had a numeric tattoo on the inside of her left arm. This tattoo was from was from her time in a Nazi concentration camp. If anyone had the right to be sensitive to the religious nuances in our society it was her. We always wished her a Merry Christmas and she would respond back with Happy Chanukah, neither of us choose to be offended by this exchange and in fact the warmth that we shared in this exchange was very much appreciated by both sides.
With the spirit of the season and only warmth in my heart let me wish all of our residents a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and have a safe and happy new year!
Merry Christmas Mantorville, Merry Christmas!
Yours in service,
Mayor - City of Mantorville