By Walter GeigerAs we celebrate the Christmas season, our world is a troubled one.There remains, despite all our societal, agricultural and technological advances, starvation around the globe.Despite ever improving methods of communication, there are still those who are oppressed by those who have more or believe differently.The American economy remains a shambles. People have lost homes and jobs. Many of the people you see each and every day are struggling and worried those struggles may get worse.The Middle East remains a tinderbox and many believe a full blown war there pitting Christians and Jews against Muslims is a foregone conclusion.Here at home, we are a nation divided – a nation where a disturbed young man shot his own mother in the head and stole her weapons in order to execute kindergartners and those who taught and nurtured them.That tragic event just put an exclamation point on violence that is ever present everywhere even right here at home.These are troubled times, indeed.Jesus was born into troubled times. He was a Palestinian Jew. He grew up with stories of the oppression of his people. The Roman occupation of Israel Jesus knew was just the latest in a long line of attempts to subdue the Jews’ fight for national sovereignty.Those attempts continue to this day.Eventually, Jews jealous of Jesus’ following and their Roman overseers crucified Him. The execution was in vain.He had already sown the seeds of faith and given people hope. He had already spread the message of peace and good will. And, he arose from the dead.That message remains with us today although it is sometimes hard to find it amid the constant partisan bickering, horrific headlines and threats of war.More than anything else, our nation needs to hear that message now. We need to seek out peace and exhibit good will towards others – both our friends and our enemies.Take that message to heart this Christmas season.You can make a difference.Merry Christmas to you and your family from all of us here at The Herald-Gazette. We thank you for your readership and support and wish you a happy and prosperous 2013.