I remember Christmas Eve, 1969. My platoon was guarding an artillery unit on a high, barren, shell-scarred hill called LZ (Landing Zone) Bushwhack. The weather was dark and cloudy, our mood was dimmed by nostalgia, and we were in a survival mode, the high and lofty purpose of the war long forgotten. Then over Armed Forces Radio came the sounds of Handel’s Messiah, and some of us, at least for a couple of hours, were lifted toward Heaven in our thoughts and dreams. It was the most poignant message of “Light shining in the darkness” I’ve ever received.
Let’s pray for all our men and women in uniform today and tomorrow. Many of them are far away from their loved ones and are feeling as desolate as we were in Southeast Asia long ago. May the holiness and hope of Christmas bring them at least a moment or two of joy.