Saturday, 22 December 2018

Methodist NZ Presidential team Christmas message

Dear Methodist Family

Christmas time for many of us, is a time when we gather as family. It is also a time when we go away on holiday, or at least take time to relax and prepare for the busyness of the new year ahead. This can be a disadvantage of Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere. We are so taken up with the busyness of preparing for Christmas and the holiday, that we forget to focus on Christmas and what it is truly about.
These days we hear anew the opening accounts of the life of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour, Our hearts and spirits are refreshed once more. In response, we rededicate ourselves to the praise of God and to our ministries of peace on earth. We rededicate ourselves to Jesus.
Let us be people who do not ignore Jesus on His birthday. Let us remind each other through our words and deeds that Jesus is indeed the reason for the season.
Relationships give life to the Christmas season focusing on love, hope, generosity and family. It is a time of reconciliation, joy and goodwill; the manifestations of knowing Jesus. We serve our communities in ways that are more than social work when we also celebrate Jesus’s birthday by helping people know Jesus better.
Isaiah issued Hope, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light”, and went on to talk about joy, rejoicing, freedom and peace (Isaiah 9:2-5). How are these things possible?
The angel announced to the shepherd “good news of great joy for all people.” The basis for such a proclamation? “For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given.”
The Good News is Jesus. We Christians believe and proclaim that peace, joy, hope and freedom are possible only because of Jesus. Let us remember that Christmas is about hope and potential. The birth of a baby, born in challenging circumstances. The birth of this baby gives us insight into the potential for a world where there is peace and justice for all.
As we gather with our families this year, let us also remember that for many people, here and all over the world, there is no peace, or justice, there is no hope or potential. Many people are suffering Christmas alone, or are worried about what may lie ahead for them. Some gathering together for the last time, or without family members for the first time.
We pray that as we celebrate the hope of Christmas
We share the peace that will end violence and abuse.
We find the joy that comes when we share our lives with others.
We reach out with the love that says I stand with you.
We discover the Christ child who gives life to the world.
Meri Kirihimete! ‘Ofa atu fau!
Setaita and Nicola