In Our View: Timeless Hope for Peace

The message of Christmas transcends religious denominations

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The passing of more than two millennia attests to one of the great miracles of Christmas: the enduring power of its message. People worldwide will never stop praying for peace. We celebrate its occasional gifts, grieve its dark demise when outbreaks of violence descend upon us, then warm ourselves in the hope of its return.Peace transcends religious denominations just as surely as it transforms tribes. But most powerfully of all, peace crosses the limits of time.

Perhaps this timelessness of peace crossed the minds of John Hall and Johanna Hall several years ago when they co-wrote "New Star Shining," a song popularized by Ricky Skaggs and sung by many other artists.

"New Star Shining" no doubt is a Christmas song, but even as the Nativity theme surrounds this song, there is no mention of "Christmas" in the lyrics. Nor is there any mention of three wise men; no description of a manger or stable. In fact, the lyrics don't even include a single reference to a deity. Heaven and a star are mentioned only in passing.

Nonbelievers and cynics who scoff at the song's glaring ambiguities will miss its magnificent message: Unlike many traditional Christmas songs, "New Star Shining" could describe a modern family just as easily as it describes the joy that engulfed Mary, Joseph and Jesus more than two millennia ago. Read the words closely. Rediscover the everlasting message of peace, brought to us by a mere child, born in the most humbling of circumstances.

This abiding hope can be seen in a single gift tag clumsily crafted by a child, or among 60,000 teddy bears that have been sent recently to Newtown, Conn.

That hope for peace is The Columbian's wish for all people today. Merry Christmas!

"New Star Shining"

They didn't own a house

No crib, no toys were waiting

Still, they had their love

For the child they were anticipating

He was born one winter night

On a road between two towns

They wrapped him up so warm and tight

And said, "It looks like heaven's come down"

There was a new star shining in the sky up above

By his light that winter night they found peace and perfect love

If we want to find it, I know we always will

'Cause that new star is shining for us still

They worried how to feed him

Simple trade was all they knew

It was hard enough to make ends meet

When they were only two

But the cold, the dark, and hunger,

Couldn't take away their joy

And they knew that they would find a way

For that precious baby boy

There was a new star shining in the sky up above

By His light that winter night they found peace and perfect love

If we want to find it, I know we always will

'Cause that new star is shining for us still.

If we want to find it, I know we always will

'Cause that new star is shining for us still …