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We're kind of fond of this Earth; it's home. We're not alone.

Janette Edna Powers, 85, died April 15, 2014 at St. Josephs Hospital, Bellingham, Wash., after a short illness.
Mark Edward Cooley, 55, died April 9, 2014, with his family by his side at their home in Des Moines, Wash. He was born in Portland, Ore., on April 10, 1958. He grew up in Butteville, Ore., on the Willamette River, and graduated from North Marion High School.
Esther Rita Brown, 53, died on April 10, 2014, at her home in Ketchikan.

This week Ketchikan will join the world in celebrating the true meaning of Christmas.

Christmas marks the birth of Jesus, the son of God.

God is the creator of the Earth. Through the Virgin Mary, He conceived a son, who was born in Jerusalem, lived a perfect life and died on a cross, not an uncommon form of execution in that day.

God cannot be around sin; sin separates people from God. Jesus came to put all of that sin on Himself. If people believe in Jesus and repent of their sins, then their relationship with God is restored. It is only through belief in Jesus that that relationship can be restored.

When people believe in Jesus, their sins are forgiven. It doesn't mean they sin no more, but they take the Word of God into their hearts and as a result are less likely to sin. But, Jesus had to come because people could not live totally sinless lives.

When people sin, it separates them from God's love. But believing in Jesus and His forgiveness of sin draws them closer. No one has to be lost to sin. Jesus is here to save people from sin and one day welcome them into Heaven.

Jesus' birth was foretold by the prophets and has been celebrated for more than 2,000 years.

It is because of His birth that Christmas is celebrated; that students enjoy a Christmas break; that all of the festivities take place this time of year; that people exchange gifts and that they enjoy the spirit of goodwill is because of Christmas.

In this place in tomorrow's Christmas Eve edition, the story of Jesus' birth will be reprinted from the book of Luke in the Bible.

It is the story of Christmas.