It’s that time of the year again. It’s the time we hurry from store to store looking for that perfect gift for our loved ones. It’s the time when many travel around the country to spend time with their families. It’s the time where we dust off the cookbooks to prepare the perfect dish for the Christmas lunch or dinner.
If you are like me, Christmas is a time when you can feel overwhelmed. There is so much to do and so little time to get everything done. Between balancing work, family, and the holidays, it seems like there is not enough time in the day.
In today’s day and age, it is very easy to grow discouraged. From the constant beat of divisive coverage from the national news media to the never-ending flow of information on social media to the very serious instability in countries around the globe, it seems like the world is in a very precarious place. I certainly understand why some studies show that stress and anxiety is at an all-time high.
So, this holiday season, I want to remind you that there is hope in this world, and the hope comes in many different shapes and forms.
There is hope in the people who take time out of their busy holiday schedule to help those in need. Last week, I joined with the Salvation Army to ring their holiday bell outside the Bass Pro Shop in Spanish Fort. I was constantly impressed by the number of individuals from all ages and all walks of life who dropped money in the bucket.
I also recently visited the WKRG studios in Mobile to donate to their annual toy drive. When I walked into that warehouse full of toys, it put joy in my heart. There is something truly special about individuals giving their time, money, or talents to help make the holidays special for those in need.
There is hope in the sacrifice of our service members. Jesus put it best when he said that there is no greater love than a person who is willing to lay down their life for one’s friends. That is what our military men and women do each and every day. They put their life on the line to help protect the rights and values that we hold dear.
There is hope in the United States of America. If you ever doubt the greatness of America, just take a look back at our history and what all we have overcome. The greatness of our country is not based in our legal documents or our government institutions. The greatness of the United States comes from our people, and that is why I know our best days are still ahead.
Finally, there is hope in Christ. There is hope in that baby, born in a manger in Bethlehem. There is hope because that baby would grow up to conquer the world and give us the remarkable blessing of eternal life. It is the love of Jesus that gives us the greatest hope of all.
This Christmas, as I do each year, I want to remind you of the words written in John 1:5, “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” No matter how busy you are, how worried you are, or how anxious you are, please take hope in the fact that the light will never be overcome by the darkness of this world.
So, from my family to yours, Merry Christmas, and may God bless you this holiday season.
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Bradley Byrne is a member of U.S. Congress representing Alabama’s 1st Congressional District.