My wife told me that my blog has taken a negative tone lately. She's probably right. I'm thrilled that she's been reading it. For today, let's feel hope and joy.
Isaiah 7:  Moreover the LORD spoke again to Ahaz, saying,  “Ask a sign for yourself from the LORD your God; ask it either in the depth or in the height above.”  But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, nor will I test the LORD!”  Then he said, “Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also?  “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. *
Luke 2: Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And behold, * an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.  Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  “And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” *
 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”  And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.  Now when they had seen Him, they made widely * known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.  And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.  But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.  Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.
(All Scriptures taken from the New King James version of the Bible, from PocketBible for Windows by Laridian Software).
Merry Christmas to all! Joy to the world!
As always, those of you who so prefer may have a wonderful non-specific cultural observance.
I don't have one of those silly iTunes blog plug ins, but this post was written with Trans Siberian Orchestra's Christmas Cannon Rock playing in the background.