‘The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.’ (Isaiah 9:2)

The Christmas Story is set around the time of the winter solstice, when the northern hemisphere experiences its longest night. On this day the North Pole experiences almost twenty-four hours of darkness. It is in this bleak, harsh, dark time that the Christmas Story brings the promise of hope and a light to conquer all darkness – physical, emotional and spiritual. Jesus comes with the promise of light and peace. To this people that live in darkness and the shadow of death a saviour has been born; he is Christ the Lord. This is the core message of Christmas.

At this time, the world around us comes alive with Christmas – though some use the word ‘festive’ – lights and decorations. Santa and reindeer, cribs, stars and tinsel-covered trees greet us at every corner. We notice people in a mad rush shopping for toys and gifts. Post offices get inundated with Christmas cards and the Internet is a flurry of Christmas emails and messages. In that rush and swirl of excitement sometimes it is easy to forget that this time celebrates the birth of an infant; an infant born in a nondescript stable, on the edge of an insignificant town, to poor parents who had no place to call home in an occupied territory.

This Christmas let us facilitate the birth of Jesus into our own lives and the lives of others. Let us offer the promise of hope and peace to others. Let us joyfully welcome the stranger and the refugee, the homeless and the wanderer. Let us remember those who continue to struggle in occupied lands, for whom even the smallest candle in the window would appear like a beacon of impending peace.

At this time of Christmas let us ponder the words of Edwina Gateley:

There is a heaviness permeating our globe,

and we, it seems,

are stumbling in this dark place,

blinded by its shadows and

longing for a spark of light.

Even Mother Earth

senses imminent rape from

threats of fracking, mining,

digging, pipe lines, pollution

and more.


I ran to the woods

to hide.

Where are You, merciful God?

Where is Your mercy now

for a broken people

and a hurting world?

And from the very soil, the trees,

the air and every living, creeping,

crawling, flying, walking,

swimming creature

rose the whisper, thunderous:


Here I am –

hiding with you …


Here I am.

We must cuddle together,

to share our pain

and we will plot together

to birth

new life …

Have a wonderful Christmas and every blessing for the New Year.