by Reverend Judy Leverton
Peace be with you!! Christmas is stressful for some, lonely for others and a
spending frenzy for many. It needn’t be. Christmas is also a time when we
look beyond ourselves, when we want the best for those around us and for
all who are in need in our world. It’s time to celebrate again Jesus’ birth but
Christmas is more than a celebration of a baby’s birth. The story takes us
beyond the glitter and tinsel to something much deeper.
When we stand by the cradle and gaze on a newly born baby we’re
awestruck. As we see crib scenes, we are moved once again. We’re invited
to look beyond the baby, to catch a glimpse of the God whose gift is hope,
peace and goodwill, love. We’re invited to look beyond what we see in our
world to discover signs of goodness, beauty and joy wherever people are
trying to do their best.
The Christmas story shows ordinary people trying to do their best in bleak
circumstances. A couple forced to go to another town for a census, a man
doing his best for his very pregnant fiancée, an innkeeper trying to
accommodate them, finally in the middle of this drama, the birth of a baby.
There is the invitation to the shepherds, an invitation to us all to find in the
new-born child signs of hope for all the earth, a sign of God’s presence on
earth and his gift of hope peace and goodwill among all.
At times our best does not seem good enough, when things go wrong with
our relationships despite our best intentions, when tragedy hits families or
communities. When so much of our news is about violence, destroying
people and our environment.
Christmas is a time for looking ahead; to see goodness and beauty in those
around us; to look at tragedy and see the stories of kindness and
compassion that speak of the hope of life beyond the darkness; to look at
the violence and see efforts to change these patterns and see in them
signals of hope for a safer world. To see the beauty of our environment and
hear the call for green alternatives as signals of hope for our planet.
When we look beyond the surface, we become open to signals of God’s gift
of hope for ourselves, our families and our world.
May we all share God’s gift this Christmas and in the New Year.