Editor, Times-Union:
Another year is closing; a new year is emerging!  It seems like just the other day we were all “in a fuss” about “Y2K!”  There was talk of infrastructure failure, massive grid blackouts, and computer crashes worldwide!  Survival gear was purchased, people overstocked their food pantries, and stored weeks, if not months, of bottled water!  We even bought a new cabinet to accommodate extra food and water ourselves!  Matter of fact, that same cabinet now occupies a spot in our garage where we still put canned goods that won’t fit in our kitchen pantry!  Guess it still gives us a certain sense of “being ready for whatever!”  
At that time, to even say the year “2000” seemed so “out there” somewhere.  It was hard to embrace the idea of being part of a new century and to imagine what was ahead.   Most of us had known only the 1900’s; there were even questions about how to pronounce the new millennium years.  However ... we all “survived” with very few problems.  All the disasters didn’t happen; the stockpiles of food and water weren’t needed; and the world didn’t come to an end!
So, you ask, “What does all this have to do with Christmas!?”  Good point.   You see ... even though the catastrophes didn’t occur, we have already seen changes of which we never dreamed in 1999!  From political, to social, to spiritual, to almost anything, change is happening at a frightening pace.  Every day the news brings into our living rooms amazing ... and, unfortunately, all too often alarming ... things going on in our  own streets and around the world!  We all have had times when we simply shake our heads in disbelief!  And, those times seem to be accelerating.
However, as Billy Graham recently shared with America, there is hope!  That Hope not only became flesh over 2000 years ago in a little town named Bethlehem, but was God’s complete and final Plan of Redemption from the very beginning.  It was boldly foretold by Old Testament prophets and confirmed in New Testament authors.   And ... that Hope which became flesh was “Immanuel,” God with us!  We also know Him as Jesus Christ,  Son of God, son of the virgin Mary;  Counselor, Prince of Peace, Redeemer, Deliverer, King of Kings and Lord of Lords ... and above all ... Savior of Mankind!  
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  – John 3:16
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”   – John 8:32
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble, but take heart!  I have overcome the world.”  [Jesus]   – John 16:33
“For everyone born of God overcomes the world.  This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.   – I John 5:4
Yes!  There is hope!  A whole world of hope in Jesus Christ!
Tom Williams
Warsaw, via email