It has been several weeks since you have heard from me, but I did not want this season to pass without sending you a greeting for the season, and to let you know I am still here.
This year has been a tough year for most of us. Many of us have lost loved ones due to the coronavirus or other health issues. What has bothered me most about this is that families are not able to be together during the final days of a loved one’s life, and this causes us to feel sad and empty.
The pandemic has separated us in so many ways, and the strangeness of the year has brought out many hidden emotions. Isolation has caused feelings of anger and despair; and yet it has also given us some positive perspectives that were unexpected. I have seen our community come together to help those who are helpless, to bring cheer to the weary, and to give support to those who have lost much. It warms my heart to see such generosity in our community.
In spite of the difficulties of this year, I feel very blessed in so many ways. God has been good to me, and I am thankful to Him for all of His blessings. It is this time of year, when we celebrate the birth of the Christ child, we may reflect upon what God has given us in this life.
I pray for a Merry Christmas to you and yours, and for a happy, healthy, and blessed New Year.
I would like to end with a poem written by Ila Shoettler when she was in the 10th grade. She sent it to me several months ago after she read the article I wrote about the poetry contest we were having at the library. I felt so blessed to have her share this poem with me, and I saved it until this moment to share it with you.
The Christmas Child
By Ila Cordes (Published in her local newspaper on Dec. 22, 1950)
One cold winter night long, long ago
The stars shone down on the soft white snow,
When in the distance came a soft, sweet cry,
Of a baby who in a manger did lie.
The angels looked down on him from above
And sang to the child their hymns of love;
This tiny babe in a manger was born,
With swaddling clothes to keep him warm.
All the night one star’s rays shown through
On this tiny baby who was soon to rule;
People came from far and near
To see this child so very dear.
Who knew that some day He would rule so wise
A kingdom of such tremendous size?
And so we celebrate this wondrous day—
When Christ was born, in the manger, on the hay.
A Merry Christmas to you!
May you be blessed by the season!
— My love to all,
• • •
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
— Isaiah 9:6