In last week’s column, we discussed the difference between a newspaper article and an opinion column. Articles are supposed to report only facts, whereas a column contains the writer’s opinion, without such strict restraint. I strive to base my opinion columns only on provable facts. This column is an exception; it is based on Christian faith over anything else. It is about the miracle birth and life of Jesus and what we can learn from him.

Our nation is now divided more than at any time since the Vietnam War. So, too, is the world we live in. Unfortunately, our beloved Destin is now becoming more divided by a few newcomers to City Hall. I wrote about this in my City Hall Heaven and City Hall Hell columns. But what does this have to do with Christmas? Let’s take a look.

My City Hall Christmas wish is for the peace, comfort and joy that we experienced for the first three decades (since 1984) of the city’s existence. It is not like that now.

Some newcomers to City Hall are pitting resident owners against rental owners in an attempt to transform Destin into a retirement community like the ones you see in south Florida. That is evidenced by the recent appointment of what is called a Short-Term Rental Task Force. That was not a good move. I will explain in a future Destin Log column. Look for it here in a week or so.

These same newcomers want Destin taxpayers to divvy up $71 million; that’s $71 followed by six zeros, as in $71,000,000, for a Gulf Power buyout that almost every resident is solidly against. This controversy is now dividing our city. Yet, there is hope.

The birth of Jesus was a miracle by and of itself. It is made even more miraculous by what he accomplished between his birth, his crucifixion and his resurrection. We are now celebrating the birth of Jesus and can learn from his teachings.

In the Bible, Jesus gave us two Commandments: “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul and with all thy mind. The second, liken unto it, love thy neighbor as thy self.” As a New Testament Christian, I believe that these two Commandments are the basis for all Christianity. They simplify and encompass everything in the Old Testament’s Ten Commandments.

City Council meetings customarily open with a minister leading everyone in prayer. Let’s all pray with them that the current mayor and city council members will look for divine guidance on how best to overcome our division and unite our city again. What a wonderful Christmas gift that would be!

Here’s wishing you the very best Christmas ever. And let us all keep in mind the real reason for this “Holiest of Holidays.”

Amen

Jack Simpson has owned and managed rental properties in Destin since 1974 and has lived in the city since 1983. His column is designed to start conversations in the community. To respond to Jack’s column in The Log, email your letter to the editor or guest column to dricketts@thedestinlog.com. To contact Jack directly, email jacksimpson@cox.net.