Christmas Amidst the AshesPosted on: December 18, 2019, by : David
Do you feel it too? A sort of uneasy jarring between the celebration of Christmas, with its parties and jingles, and the real suffering of people dealing with bushfires and volcanoes and road trauma and violence and changing climate. Prime Minister Morrison has copped flack for being on holidays while NSW and Qld burns, but it’s not so different from the rest of us who will eat and drink our way through Christmas with perhaps a passing nod to the natural disasters or the Christmas Bowl Appeal. Maybe we should call Christmas off this year?
Actually, Christmas is not all out of place in the midst of all this suffering. Quite the opposite – we need Christmas to remind us that things are not always as they seem. The very first Christmas was anchored in a world of poverty, suffering, oppression and injustice, and its advent was hailed as light in the darkness, as announcing peace, as a proclamation of hope. That’s because Christmas is a sign and a reminder of that cycle of regeneration and renewal that is at the heart of creation, at the heart of all life. We know that the bush will regenerate; we know that people will heal; we know that, despite some appearances to the contrary, life will go on. And while it doesn’t ease the pain of those who are impacted by suffering right now, it does hold the hope that we might just do better next time as we learn from ‘this time’ how to more effectively manage, prevent, ameliorate their suffering.
Christmas gives hope, even in the midst of present suffering and inconsistencies, that we can do better, that justice can prevail, that creation can flourish, that love, peace, joy and compassion can win!
So, Merry Christmas to you all – enjoy this season with your family and friends, live in and out of that hope for a better world, and may peace, joy and love fill your homes and hearts at Christmas and all through the coming year.