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Comfort can be found in Christmas story

In just six days, Christians around the world will pause tohonor the birth of Jesus. Oh, what a glorious day.

My family will gather together on Dec. 27 at the home of myniece, Angie, and her husband, Jeff. I hope and pray the good Lordallows us all to be together again this year.

The birth of my great-niece, Bailey Nicole Traugott, in Februarybumped the Laster count up to 28 for this year’s celebration.Nothing can bring joy to a family like the birth of healthy, happybaby.

Food, games, gifts, laughter and love will all have a place atour get-together. It’s also possible a few good-natured argumentsover football or politics will pop up. Any disputes will be easilyresolved with the help of a sweet potato pie.

There’ll be a note of sadness, too.

How I wish I could hear my grandmother’s voice. How I wish shewere here to dote over Bailey, her fifth great-great-grandchild,just as she did the other four.

How I wish I could see the twinkle in my father’s eyes as hewatches his grandchildren and great-grandchildren unwrap theirpresents or shoot fireworks.

As I write this on Thursday afternoon, my heart is breaking formy friend and co-worker, Theresa Milholen, whose sister died thismorning. The only comfort I can find for either of us now is aprayer for her family.

Unfortunately, sadness doesn’t pause for holidays. Tragedydoesn’t keep a calendar.

Many other families are also facing their first Christmaswithout a loved one. Please say a prayer for all of them. I will,too.

Please, too, keep the true meaning of Christmas in your heartand in your celebrations. Read Luke 2:8-14:

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby,keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lordappeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, andthey were terrified.

But the angel said to them: “Do not be afraid. I bring you goodnews of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town ofDavid a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. Thiswill be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths andlying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of heavenly host appeared with theangel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

No matter what tragedies befall us, this “good news of greatjoy” is as comforting today as it was to the shepherds those manyyears ago.

Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Write to Nanette Laster at P.O. Box 551, Brookhaven, Miss.39602, or send e-mail to news@dailyleader.com.