My long-time friend is a COVID long-hauler

This is for my college roommate, Bill Armstrong. As a college student, he was planning to become a minister. He carried through, and for many years was a wonderful minister in Burton, Ohio. Covid got him a little over a year ago; he has been confined to a hospital bed since then. His Christmas card brought tears to my eyes: “If I were still preaching, my Christmas sermon would be about hope. Despite all the disheartening things that are happening in this world — the war in Ethiopia where we once lived, the harsh divisions in our own country, the pain of grief or loneliness that may have invaded our lives — despite all these things, there is still that little bundle of hope, peacefully nursing at his mother’s breast, with some awestruck shepherds looking on, uplifted by angelic words of peace and joy. With no pulpit at hand, I will take this way to wish you the undying hope of Christmas.”