Over 2,000 years ago around the year 4 BC, in a town called Bethlehem a young maiden named Mary gave birth to a son and called Him Immanuel. On the night of Immanuel's birth, a host of heavenly beings appeared to some shepherds that were tending sheep in a field and began celebrating and singing praises unto God.
That was the first Christmas and the reason behind the season, it was a celebration of God's gift to humanity. The gift of His only begotten Son, who represented love, peace, hope and goodwill to mankind.
Today, on the eve of that occasion and in that spirit let us step above the things of this world that has the propensity to divde us and instead seek out those things where we have a commonality of interest and purpose.
Let us resolve to place more emphasis on those things that lift up families, heal relationships and build better communities. For this season is a time for sharing and caring. It's a time for reaching out the hand of friendship and reconciliation. It's a time to make sure all members of our families and communities are included.
In that regard, on behalf of the Apalachicola Board of City Commissioners and staff, and from my family to yours, I wish each of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Van W. Johnson, Sr., Mayor
The Historic City of Apalachicola