A Rising Hope
December 22, 2017

There’s something about the season that warms hearts and homes with holiday cheer, bringing dreams of a white Christmas and wishes that come true. And while we can acknowledge the many wonderful traditions our diverse national culture brings, let us not lose sight of the One who left the glory of heaven some two thousand years ago to bring an everlasting peace to the world. As the words of the beloved song declare, it was a, “Silent night, holy night… with the dawn of redeeming grace, Jesus Lord, at Thy birth.”

In his holiday greeting of 1981, President Ronald Reagan shared these thoughts: “On Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Christ with prayer, feasting, and great merriment. But, most of all, we experience it in our hearts. For, more than just a day, Christmas is a state of mind. It is found throughout the year whenever faith overcomes doubt, hope conquers despair, and love triumphs over hate.” Most, if not all, Presidents have expressed similar sentiments for Christmas throughout the years.

As we sing our favorite carols, prepare for family gatherings and Christmas parties, and participate in church and worship services, let us also remember that faith and sacrifice undergird the very freedoms we so deeply cherish in our country. Faith and freedom may not have been born together; however, the genius of our founding fathers was their wise understanding that a monumental strength of character and resolve would result from combining the two. Neither faith nor freedom could reach their full potential for guiding a nation without the other.

I am reminded that it was on a frigid Christmas day in 1776 that George Washington led a cold and weary band of Continental soldiers across the icy waters of the Delaware River and on to a major victory in Trenton, New Jersey. Many would later acknowledge that this battle was a key turning point in the nation’s morale and the War of Independence. The price was great and we now enjoy the fruit of what others have given.

Yes, Christmas is about giving and sometimes it’s about sacrifice. For nearly two-and-half centuries, our men and women in uniform—many who have placed their trust in God—continue to demonstrate their love for freedom, even while we celebrate Christmas in the relative safety of our homes and communities. I am so thankful for those who serve selflessly in the armed services and as first responders, who maintain this level of diligence to ensure all of us have a safe holiday. We also recognize patriots everywhere who keep a vigilant guard on the spiritual wall of this nation as legislators, government leaders, pastors, concerned citizens, and faithful prayer warriors.

The Child lying in a manger is a beautiful symbol of hope personified, a gift where the promises of God can renew one’s purpose and passion. Enjoy every moment of this season and spread goodwill towards all. Remain anchored in hope that the Light of the World is still shining brightly in America and around the world. Author, C. S. Lewis, once said, “Look for Christ and you will find Him… and with Him, everything else.”

On behalf of my family and all of us here at the CPCF, I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years!