The Observer-Reporter building in Washington

Nearly two thousand years ago, in a little city in what we now call Palestine, there was born a baby boy whose life and death and teachings, and the lives and teachings of His followers, have changed world history.

We will this week celebrate the birthday of that child, in a day when the world needs much more than a celebration. It is a day when we need a revival and return of His spirit in the lives of men.

That spirit was one which, if allowed to live in the lives of His followers, could redeem the world from most of its ills. He taught that He did not come to condemn and to destroy the world or its people, but to redeem the world and to save instead of to condemn sinners.

That spirit has changed the attitudes of those peoples who have accepted and tried to practice His teachings. He placed the law of love, for God and neighbor, above all other laws, and He showed that love in His work while on earth.

When that child was born angels sang praises to God and of peace and love and good will for mankind. They sang of great joy, which should extend to all mankind, in all the world.

We will celebrate His birthday with joy and thanksgiving, with giving of gifts and with feasting.

But the world still needs the Savior who was born in Bethlehem, and who taught on the shores of Galilee and in the temple in Jerusalem. It needs more of the teaching of those who follow Him today, and more of the Spirit He left to His disciples.

History records many efforts to gain and to maintain world peace. History records many failures. Within less than two weeks before His birthday two of the world’s most populous nations have been involved in warfare, with attendant massacres of large numbers of people. The world’s most populous nation and its third most populous nation have been involved in giving encouragement to that war.

Today one real hope left to the world to end warfare and international strife, as well as strife and violence on the part of individuals and small groups, seems to lie in the teachings of the man of Galilee, the Child of Bethlehem.

As we celebrate His birthday, with the joy and peace of which the angels sang, we need also to dedicate ourselves as citizens of a Christian nation to the task of bringing His Spirit of love and forgiveness into the halls of every government and into the lives of all people.

To do that would be in many ways to bring a new birth on earth of the Child of Galilee, not in body, but in spirit and in the fulfillment of the task He came to leave His followers.

We need Him today as the world has not needed Him in centuries.

This is the message the world needs today, the message His followers need, and the message His followers need to give to the world. But they need even more to extend that message in example and in living His life of love.

“Joy to the World,” we sing. The world needs more of it. And He offers us the one thing which can cure the world’s troubles.

First ‘Prizes’

Pennsylvania’s legal and state-operated lottery is not yet underway although some people believe the first “prizes” have already been awarded.

The Corry Evening Journal refers to the appointment of members of the five-member lottery commission and naming of a Philadelphia political figure as executive director of the operation as the first prizes.

Fallen Giant

With all due respect to other great figures in the field, there are five Americans we believe made the crucial contributions that placed the game of golf in its strong position in America today.

They were Francis Ouimet, a young amateur whose National Open victory in 1913 broke a foreign championship monopoly; Bobby Jones, who rode the surge of interest in American golf to the top and captured the imagination of all as “Grand Slam” winner in 1930; Walter Hagen and Ben Hogan, who moved the professional golfer from a place in the rear ranks to the forefront of golf; and Arnold Palmer, who got everyone interested in the game much like Babe Ruth did for baseball.

One of the five giants succumbed this week. Bobby Jones fought a crippling spinal illness for more than 20 years with the same tenacity with which he won golf titles 40 years ago.

It is sad when a giant in any field leaves the arena for the last time, but in the case of sports figures there is a measure of compensation. Their deeds have been chronicled so ably and so thoroughly that they live on in the printed word – for the oldster who enjoys the nostalgia and for the youngster who can benefit from the example.

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