"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."
-- Luke 1:14
So spoke the angels more than 2,000 years ago, a time of terrible strife. Today, conditions haven't changed much when it comes to human discord, but the desire to meet that standard of peace on earth is still strong in the hearts of most of mankind.
2010 saw the war in Iraq wind down enough that it largely passed out of the public's eye, even as hundreds of citizen-soldiers from the Idaho National Guard deployed there to, hopefully, wrap up once and for all American's involvement in that nation.
Meanwhile, while the war in Afghanistan continued to heat up and saw more troops poured into the country, with shaky, but definable, successes.
Throughout the world, it saw the name of God invoked to justify war, terrorism, hate and atrocities.
God must weep at the misuse of his name.
And yet, stories of compassion and kindness have also abounded. In the midst of all the wars, killing and hate, this season has shown another side to the character of mankind.
Nowhere was it in evidence better than right here in Mountain Home, as the community reached out to others in the true spirit of the season. With the economy having melted down, the need for help was as great as it has ever been, and the community responded with literally tons of food, clothing and other items donated to help those in need.
It demonstrated, as no other method could, that the hearts of most people are good and kind, and in doing so, showed that "good will toward men" remains a fundamental part of the character of people all over the world.
In 2011, let us strive to make that part of our character even stronger, and pray that the leaders of our nations will find a way to bring "peace on earth" at last.