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Moderator’s Christmas message 2008

Rev Bruce Johnson
Shaken by the global financial crisis we are confronted with a new truth. We have too easily trusted that the financial markets would secure our way of life and provide for our futures. This trust was seriously misplaced, and many of us are now feeling insecure and asking, “Where does our hope come from?”

Some have received money from the Federal Government with the request that it should be spent to boost the economy. While this may make good fiscal sense, it still encourages us to look for hope and help through money.

Christmas reminds us that God has provided the answer to our search for hope in the person of Jesus Christ who emptied himself of all the power and glory of God to become fully human. Jesus tells us we will find help, hope and belonging in relationships, not in material resources.

So, rather than complain about the commercialisation of Christmas we can choose to change our actions. Perhaps this year we can all give more time and space to our relationships rather than simply giving gifts.

As God gave of himself in Jesus, we can give of ourselves to one another and to those who don’t have strong supportive relationships.

Maybe there are groups in your community who would appreciate your gift of time. Perhaps families might find a deeper bond as they join in reaching out to others in their neighbourhood or wider community. As Eugene Peterson says in his translation of John’s Gospel,

The Word became flesh and blood,
and moved into the neighbourhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes,
the one-of-a-kind glory,
like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
true from start to finish.

This is the message that we are called to bring to the world.

I pray that you, and those with whom you share life and love, will know God’s love and presence this Christmas.

Photo : Rev Bruce Johnson