- The Washington Times - Monday, December 25, 2017

President Trump rang in the Christmas holiday at a midnight church service in Florida and wished America an unabashed Merry Christmas on Twitter.

Mr. Trump and first lady Melania Trump attended Christmas Eve services at the Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-sea in Palm Beach, Florida — the same church where they were married. They are spending the holiday at their Mar-a-Lago resort.

The president also tweeted, “People are proud to be saying Merry Christmas again. I am proud to have led the charge against the assault of our cherished and beautiful phrase. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!”

The Rev. James Harlan, the church’s rector, gave a homily focused on themes of the power of words and God’s light. He began by quoting Nelson Mandela, whom he noted rebelled against his government for its systemic oppression.

“It is never my custom to use words lightly,” Mandela said, according to the Rev. Harlan. “If 27 years in prison have done anything to us, it was to use the silence of solitude to make us understand how precious words are and how real speech is in its impact on the way people live and die.”



The Rev. Harlan linked the power of words — especially as it pertains to God’s word — to their ability to educate, enlighten and draw out the best in people, while he also cautioned words can be used to cause harm, according to a pool reporter accompanying the president.

“Your words can have as much destructive potential as they do healing,” he said. “God’s word is pure light.”

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