By Holly Martin
The trees are trimmed. The candles shine brightly. The packages are wrapped and awaiting joyful cries on Christmas morning.
But somehow, I feel those Christmas blessings just haven't quite reached us yet this year. There seems to be so much heartache and discontent.
Politically, we've spent the last year listening to bickering, mudslinging, and accusations. There's no excitement for the things to come. There's only disagreement and despair.
Economically, our country is stale. Many middle-class families are struggling--not because they aren't working, scrimping and saving--but because, put quite simply, expenses are going up faster than their incomes. Others are struggling without jobs at all.
And then, news of the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., spread across the country last week. My youngest son is the same age as those precious children. Even thousands of miles away from Connecticut, my heart ached. I hugged my family a little tighter.
It all causes me to stop a moment and think during this Christmas season. Let's pause. Let's take a deep breath. Let's remember what is important. For those of us involved in the agriculture industry, we can find joy in providing food for the world.
Let your hearts be open. Let His grace shine through you. And let the joy of the Christmas season be with you, now and forever.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were so afraid.
And the angel said unto them, "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."
--Luke 2: 8:14
Holly Martin can be reached by phone at 1-800-452-7171 ext. 1806, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.