With best wishes

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPINION -

The shep­herds were a mot­ley crew — some tall, some small and some look­ing a lit­tle bedrag­gled in bor­rowed bathrobes-turned-shep­herd garb.

One of the an­gels lost her gar­land halo and Joseph got fid­gety wait­ing for the end of the story, so he de­cided to test out his gym­nas­tics abil­i­ties on the church al­tar rail­ing.

Two nights later, Joseph turned him­self into a rein­deer and, along with his other lit­tle class­mates, brought a smile to the faces of those who packed the school gym­na­sium for the an­nual Christ­mas con­cert.

These were the scenes played out in churches and school au­di­to­ri­ums across this prov­ince in the past week, as the days count down to that most spe­cial day of the whole year — Christ­mas Day.

The gift these chil­dren give us, through their child­ish in­no­cence and en­thu­si­asm, is the re­minder of what Christ­mas is, or should be, all about.

It’s not about per­fec­tion, or who has the best. It’s not about spend­ing more money than you should, or hav­ing a show­case every­thing-in-its-place home for guests.

Christ­mas is a feel­ing, a spirit that works its way into your soul. It’s a thought that no mat­ter what has gone be­fore, or what lies ahead, life will bring you mo­ments to trea­sure.

This is not sup­posed to be a sea­son of stress and worry. It was meant to be a time of peace, love and un­der­stand­ing.

It was meant to be a time when the world slowed down, a time for care­ful re­flec­tion on life and pur­pose; a time to re­con­nect with loved ones and savour spe­cial mo­ments.

We all need a lit­tle ground­ing ev­ery now and then, a gen­tle nudge to re­mind us of the truly im­por­tant things in life.

The Christ­mas con­certs and church pageants give us more than en­ter­tain­ment value; they give us a sense of com­mu­nity.

These lit­tle chil­dren are able to ac­com­plish a most ex­tra­or­di­nary feat — the abil­ity to en­tice crowds of peo­ple to step aside from the hus­tle and bus­tle of their mad dash through life, to pay at­ten­tion to a mes­sage that of­ten gets lost in a con­fused and wor­ried world.

Over 2,000 years ago a lit­tle child, Je­sus, was born into the most hum­ble of lives. He was born in a sta­ble, to par­ents who were nei­ther wealthy, nor pow­er­ful, and He gave the world hope for a bet­ter to­mor­row.

Events of this past year have caused many to won­der and worry about their fu­tures. Each night our tele­vi­sion screens flicker with the im­ages of con­flict and un­rest around the world. Closer to home, in small out­ports, peo­ple are won­der­ing what to do with the knowl­edge that their jobs are no more.

And even in the most blessed of homes, life is not with­out worry and chal­lenge.

No mat­ter what hap­pens to us — col­lec­tively or in­di­vid­u­ally — we can rest as­sured in the knowl­edge that as long as the sun con­tin­ues to rise and set, as long as the days turn to weeks, months and years, there will al­ways be a Christ­mas Day.

And as long as there are chil­dren’s voices to fill school au­di­to­ri­ums with words and songs, and to dress as shep­herds, an­gels and wise men for the church pageants, there will al­ways be hope.

Best wishes to each and ev­ery one of you for a very Merry Christ­mas and a peace­ful, healthy and happy New Year.

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