Dec. 14, 2013
Rep. Candice Miller
The Port Huron Times Herald
In a few short weeks, we will bid farewell to 2013 and hello to 2014. As we do so, let us reflect upon the challenges we face, and on our ability to meet them by using the tools granted to us by the Good Lord and upon something else the Lord gave us to work with at each year’s end — Christmas.
Unlike C.S. Lewis’ “Narnia,” where it always was winter and never Christmas, our celebration is annual and visible everywhere we look. Best of all, Christmas is the one time of the year in which people — acquaintances, strangers and even antagonists — are most likely to be nice to each other for no reason other than our shared humanity.
There is something very hopeful about the transformational effect of a season, one grounded in a faith not all of us affirm, to erase the barriers that divide us.
Perhaps the most miraculous Christmas transformation came nearly a century ago (in 1914), when thousands of soldiers dug in along the trenches of the Western Front in the bloodbath that came to be known as World War I laid down their arms to exchange holiday greetings and presents and sing carols together.
That the war’s mass destruction and killing resumed soon thereafter, and continued for another four years, is undeniable. But the reality of the Christmas Truce is also undeniable, and a heartening reminder that we are not always and forever defined by our differences.
As we gather this year to celebrate the holidays and enjoy the comfort of family and friendship, here’s hoping we also share some good will with those less fortunate and those whose fortunes at other times appear to be at odds with our own. Let us be thankful for the great blessings bestowed upon us as citizens of the greatest nation in human history, and for those in our armed services who protect those blessings.
And let us bid farewell to 2013 in the spirit of the Lord whose birth gave rise to the season: with peace on earth and good will toward men.
U.S. Rep. Candice S. Miller, R-Harrison Township, represents the 10th Congressional District of the U.S. House of Representatives.