If, like many of us, you read the op-ed page in the daily newspapers, you know that we must be close to Christmas. The prophets of gloom and doom are at it again. It would seem that the world has never been in a worse state. Those writers would have us believe we are caught up in a war that cannot be won. That there are more and more people out of work. That the number of single family homes has grown by leaps and bounds. That the prices of petroleum products have been forced so high by the financial gougers that more and more people are forced to live in ice cold homes and cannot afford to purchase gasoline for their automobiles. That marriage has become an occasional thing for the stars of the world. That more and more deathly illnesses are occurring. That crimes, particularly murders, has increased to such an extent that everyone must now look over his or her shoulder constantly. That the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. And on and on and on. We are reminded that gloom and doom have become our way of life and that this is the worst the world has ever been.
164 years ago Charles Dickens wrote an epic entitled "A Christmas Carol." If you read that rather short story, you will discover that things really haven't changed that much in over a century. There were gougers then including the central character, Ebenezer Scrooge. That, even then, the rich got richer and the poor got poorer. That people were out of work then. That so many poor people couldn't afford coal for heat. That illness was a way of life. That crime was rampant. And on and on and on. Things haven't really changed that much. In fact, if you study history, i's apparent that things haven't really changed that much down through the centuries. So what do we make of all this at Christmas time?
A Christmas Carol gives us the answer in the words of Bob Cratchit as he looks with love at his wife and children, "We have each other." On that first Christmas night far from their home, Mary and Joseph could say the same words. So could the shepherds up in the hills. So can we today. We have each other and what a blessing that is. We have warmth and comfort and joy and love in each other. And we have Jesus. As we together celebrate His coming, it is the hope and prayer of the members of the Ministerium and all of their parishioners that for you and yours Christmas day will, indeed, be a day of joy and happiness for you and the loved ones with whom you will share.