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Christmas is the perfect time to get together with your family. It’s a time to bond over shared experiences and create memories that last a lifetime. 

And while the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many of us to alter our holiday traditions, the importance of building strong family connections stays the same. 

This year, celebrating Christmas Day may still take on many new dimensions for most of us. We will finally get to see family members, enjoy meals together and re-live some Christmas traditions. 

Yet, we can’t expect it to be entirely back to normal. Some family members will be missing. Some may have gone to be with the Lord. Others may be separated from family gatherings for a variety of reason. 

But this Christmas, one question resonates in my heart and mind: Do you believe this? 

Jesus asked the same question to Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, who had been dead for three days. He said to them: “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 

The core question for us on this Christmas Day is, “Do you believe this?” Do you believe in Jesus’ birth, life, ministry, death, resurrection and return? Otherwise, Christmas Day is just another festive holiday with food, friends and family. 

But for those of us who believe, today you are celebrating a Wonderful Counselor, a Mighty God, an Eternal Father, a Prince of Peace, the one whose government never ends. 

Everything about Christmas points us to Jesus. The Christmas tree reminds us of the life-giving tree he died on. The lights remind us he is the light in dark places and the gifts we give and receive point to all the gifts he gives us. 

When gathering with your friends and family this year celebrating old or new traditions, make time to connect with your loved ones in meaningful ways, and remember our Savior who brings us life. 

I believe this. 

Merry Christmas! 

Watach a video of Buckner president's Christmas message.

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