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Wishing for peace on Earth

December 24, 2005

This is the Christmas season, and I must confess that I had some pre-Christmas blues earlier in the month. When I tried to figure out why I was not my usual cheerful self, I realized that one of the things keeping my spirits less than bright was the war. Isn't it good that Saddam is no longer in power? Of course. And isn't it good that the most recent election there occurred with so much promise? Of course. But how much more blood of our young people will we spill there? We're already at 2,000-plus, and that number doesn't take into account our physically maimed and mentally wounded soldiers.

And how about all the Iraqis whom we have killed and wounded? The president put the death toll at 30,000 the other day, but I have heard from such programs as the McLaughlin Group that that number is much higher. What is tops on my Christmas wish list? Oh, God, please end this war!

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THE REV. C. L. "SKIP" LINDEMAN

Congregational Church

of the Lighted Window

United Church of Christ

La CaƱada Flintridge

We wish for the unity and agreement of religions, the unity of mankind and for all to realize the oneness of God. We wish to know and love God, and to help carry forward an ever advancing civilization. And we wish you all a peaceful, joyful, and a happy holiday.

BARBARA CRAMER

Secretary

Baha'i Faith

Glendale

Like most people, I have a handful of ongoing Christmas wishes. Hopefully they're not too selfish! I pray that my church would be a caring group that helps people to follow Jesus. I pray that God's hand of favor would be with my family.

I pray that I would know Jesus more and serve Him with greater effectiveness and obedience.

But in the spirit of the Christmas season, I would put at the top of my list the wish that every dear reader of our In Theory column would experience the joy of personally knowing Jesus Christ.

"And the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:10-11).

Joy is the opposite of pessimism and despair. It is eternally grounded in the fact that God loves every person in this world and "sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." (1 John 4:10).

This joy triumphs over every negative circumstance in our lives.

Thirty-three years after His birth, the women at Jesus' tomb were filled with "great joy" when they realized that He had risen from the dead.

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