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Congressman Bob Goodlatte

Congressman Bob Goodlatte’s Weekly Column: December 16, 2016
Peace on Earth, Goodwill Toward Men
By Congressman Bob Goodlatte
Washington, DC (DEc. 16, 2016) -

For most, there’s a feeling of nostalgia at the holidays – it fills our hearts and souls with strong feelings of family, friendship, warmth, and comradery. However, at times, the holidays bring somberness as we celebrate Christmas without loved ones or continue to struggle with health issues or hardships. Despite all of these things, Christmas brings a hope that we cannot deny. In the darkest of times, Christmas brings light.

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, which our nation recently commemorated the 75th Anniversary of just weeks ago, America was in shock and dismay. Even then, a moment of quiet relief was found in Christmas. Winston Churchill, visiting the White House for Christmas shortly after the United States entered World War II, spoke in his Christmas Eve broadcast,

“Here, in the midst of war, raging and roaring over all the lands and seas, creeping nearer to our hearts and homes, here, amid all the tumult, we have tonight the peace of the spirit in each cottage home and in every generous heart. Therefore we may cast aside for this night at least the cares and dangers which beset us, and make for the children an evening of happiness in a world of storm.”

Americans have always found the light in moments of darkness and strength in times of strife. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush said in his Christmas radio message,

“During this time of conflict and challenge, Christmas is a day on which we celebrate hope and joy; when our thoughts turn to justice and compassion, and to a Prince of Peace born long ago. This is a day on which we give thanks for the wonder of God’s love, for the blessings we have received, and for the families we love. And this year all of these things seem particularly important.”

Whether an international conflict or personal illness, all manner of struggles find hope in Christmas. Christmas is not a holiday for the happy alone, it’s a holiday for the broken, for the hungry, for the hurting – it’s for all of us who need the peace offered by God himself through Jesus Christ.

As stores echo with the sounds of holiday songs and the bustle of last minute shoppers, and folks head to the airport to greet family or head to visit family themselves, I am again reminded of all of the blessings of peace and goodwill this season brings. This Christmas, my heart is indeed full. I hope that this season fills you with joy that lasts all year round. From my family to yours, I wish you a blessed holiday season and a very Merry Christmas.

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