War and violence seem to have dominated our newspapers and broadcasts this past year. Reports of natural disasters, pain and suffering in our world have left us saddened, distressed and wondering why? And yet as Christians, we know that evil exists in this world in the hearts and minds of men and women and that we should not be surprised. It is, in this context, we will celebrate Christmas again this year – not very different to the world of that first Christmas when Jesus came to live among His people and world.
What then will our celebration say to us this year?
Let me suggest one thing at least– ‘it doesn’t need to be like this!’
Hearts can be changed, lives can be transformed by God’s love. Jesus showed the way of love and reconciliation, harmony and forgiveness, and promised we too could be bearers of that love and mercy to His world. He promised to be with us, and through the prompting and guiding of the Holy Spirit we are made agents of His peace.
May we be those people in our relationships and community this year as we bring the message of peace and goodwill to all - that our world might be just that little better and closer to finding the peace and joy‘that comes from believing’ and which scripture tells us ‘passes all understanding’ – to His honour and glory.