Christmas is the most hopeful time of the year. It sits between the end of one year and the beginning of the next. We take time to celebrate with friends, give gifts of great love and remember the coming of the Christ. It brings together the most crucial messages of life: friendship, generosity and faith. And tells us that no matter what has happened in the passing year, there is another year coming. And it will bring a new set of opportunities, challenges and experiences. But as I start each year, I want to make sure Christ is in the middle of it. He is the source, the foundation and the guiding star. Without him I cannot be confident that I will act in ways the honour God, choose the right priorities or carry the unavoidable burdens. I am reliant on him. He stands between this year and the next. And for this I am grateful and humbled. This is my Christmas message every year. And it fills me with great hope for the days that lie ahead.
Justice stirs in me words like equity and fairness as well as courage and strength. We cannot have justice without people standing up. Standing up for the marginalised and standing up to those holding power. Yet this kind of standing up looks so different when we see it through the eyes of Christmas. In Christmas, we see the God way. The way of sacrifice and humility. A God who gave his only son that others may experience His kind of forgiveness, compassion and grace firsthand. And a son willing to lay down the treasure of heaven to become man and walk among us. The Christmas story intertwines with the justice message. It calls us to see the needs of the world and then in response, lay down our lives. What greater gift can each of us offer to our world?
Kelley Chisholm is a teaching pastor at Westcity Church in Perth. She is also a writer and author of a book launching this month called "Twenty Reasons to Believe: A Development Revolution in Rwanda”. It’s a book sharing images and stories of twenty women from rural Rwanda making their own way out of poverty using the Self Help Group approach. Buy it here
This piece was also published on TEAR Australia's website