Editorial: Today, on this day of days, may the promise of 'Peace on Earth' be true
Dec. 24, 2017 at 8:35 p.m.
Editor's note: The following editorial appeared in the Christmas 1967 edition of the Longview Morning Journal:
Today is the day of days!
Today we do a flashback to Bethlehem as we commemorate an event that happened there 2,000 years ago. There, in a quiet little village, was born to a peasant maiden a Messiah who has changed the course of history. In accordance with centuries of prophecy, the Virgin Mary brought forth in a Judean cave the promised Savior of man.
Today a materialistic modern world enjoys a respite from living by the second-hand of a clock, and from the competitive struggle for a higher living standard. Today we forget about local and world crises as we hear echoes of angels' voices over Bethlehem offering to the world the most precious gifts of all time — eternal peace and universal goodwill. At this hallowed hour, our hearts and minds turn to the first Christmas, as we reflect on the divine promise Christ came to fulfill. It is comforting to know that the everlasting Christmas gift was not offered to any one chosen race, nor to any one individual, nor to any one nation. The original Christmas message was meant for the entire world and no single human being is excluded.
To the lowly shepherds of the Judean hills, the angels sang out the glad tidings. To the wise men in the far away Orient, God sent a long-awaited signal to announce that the promised Messiah had been born in Bethlehem. The miraculous experiences of the wise men, or Magi, offer convincing proof that the Christmas message was meant to be universal.
Basically, the Christ child released into the universe a compassionate love which cradles a tired world in its arms and dispels the "me first" philosophy of the Dark Ages. Thoughtfulness to others, the basic precept, has given to society its finest institutions, including our agencies of mercy and our citadels of enlightenment. Christmas is the full sway of love, as Santa is the embodiment of generosity. While life could not continue without romantic love and love of country, we are reminded today that only love of mankind is lasting and eternal. It touches and softens hearts; it sweetens and purifies thoughts; and it ennobles as it lends to Christmas — giving the sentiment of Divine Philanthropy.
Christmas, despite all the external trappings, remains the cornerstone of our faith and our guarantee against fear. Christmas is the way the world ought to be every day. The spirit of Christmas is the strong child-like faith that someday man at the local level as well as the international level will treat his neighbor the way he himself would like to be treated. Today should be a day of happiness because it is a day for echoing around the earth the timeless call of the Angel Host for Peace on Earth. With Joy unrestrained, let us resolve anew that whatever we may lose among centuries, we will keep Christmas.
Down the ages, year by year, has come the message first heard on the hillside, which needs remembering today in all lands and all tongues more than ever before:
Peace on Earth — Good Will Toward Men.
God grant it may soon be so!
Today, may the candles of Christmas cast upon your home a warm glow of joy, of hope and of love.
A very merry Christmas to you!