MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!! Yes, tomorrow is the big day. CHRISTMAS!!! My thought this year is that some reflection about Christmas might be appropriate as we count down the final hours before Christmas Morning. Personally, I did a little research myself because I am far from being an educated theologian. Historians, as many of you know, debate the actual day and even year that Jesus was born, but December 25 was chosen by the Roman Catholic Church as the day to celebrate his birth. The December 25 date is actually a very controversial date but, nonetheless, it is a day celebrated around the world in honor of Jesus. Most all of us in Appalachia and in the United States consider Christmas to be as the song says, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”. It is a time for praying, enjoying family, exchanging gifts, and eating well. But, my Christmas message is that perhaps we should also use some of our time off from work this Christmas season to learn what other people around the world think of Jesus. It may surprise many of us that most people around the world speak highly of “Jesus”. Did you know the following for example? Jesus is considered by Islamists to be one of God’s most beloved prophets. Their Holy Book the Quran mentions Jesus twenty-five times which is more than it mentions Mohammad. Islam, in fact, considers Jesus a messenger of God. The Quran also says that Jesus could perform miracles and that Mary was the most saintly woman ever. The Quran even says Jesus could speak when he was just a few days old. The Baha’i religion which has eight million followers in the Middle East considers Jesus to be a “spirit of God”. Our Jewish friends view Jesus as a high ranked “Holy Man”. Buddhist priests teach that Jesus lived a life of self-sacrifice. Buddhists also believe Jesus was enlightened by God. The Dalai Lama describes Jesus as a “HOLY Man” as well. Though Christians and other religions disagree as to Jesus being the Son of God I do not believe Jesus nor God would want any of us to do harm to each other. Personally I believe Jesus would want every one of us to pray for everyone else no matter our differences, particularly on Christmas Day. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO “ALL” AND TO “ALL” PEACE, AND LOVE AND HAPPINESS!!!!! Don PS. Please note my emphasis on “ALL”.