News from the
Thought for the Week
What does Christmas mean to you?
Times with family and friends? Perhaps carols, cards, television specials. Maybe hectic shopping, parties, and eating too much.
All these and more are part of our modern Christmas. But what about the first Christmas? Is the original story of the baby in a manger, shepherds, wise men and angels important at all?
For two millennia, we have been sharing this story down the generations, if it’s not important why are we still sharing this story?
May it be because this is a story of Hope and Survival?
As in our society today, with homelessness and food banks, poverty and illness, Jesus’ society also knew great pain and oppression. In the midst of social and cultural challenges, the Christmas story offers hope and encouragement toward survival, hope of new life linked to somethingsomeone, greater than ourselves.
Or perhaps it’s all about Peace and Goodwill?
‘ You know what I wish? I wish there could be peace in all the earth and no more arguments or fighting’ How many times have we said or heard this? Well, on that first Christmas the angel announced to some shepherds, “’Don’t be afraid! . . . I bring you good news of great joy for everyone! The Saviour—yes, the Messiah, the Lord— has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David!” A crowd of angels then appeared praising God and proclaiming peace among people of good will.
The Christmas story brings a message of peace that can soothe our anxious hearts and bring goodwill amongst all people. What about Family? Christmas is a time for family gatherings. This interaction can bring great joy or great stress.
Joseph and Mary had their fair share of family challenges too, however with God’s help they overcame all the obstacles in their way, today we are offered that same help.
Ultimately Jesus came to us as a baby to show God’s great Love for all. Christmas is meant to celebrate peace and joy. Amidst the busyness of shopping, parties, presents, and fun, remember not just to squeeze in the Prince of Peace, but to focus first on Him who came to spread peace and joy to all. Alison Kennedy, Youth/Community Worker, Flemington Hallside Church.