In his 2018 Christmas message, the Moderator of the Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of New South Wales and the ACT, Rev. Simon Hansford, reminds us that God is with us all and Jesus appears in the midst of everything.
Christmas Message Transcript:
Christmas can appear as an illusion. Gifts and family and friends, are true for many people, but for many others, it can be a time of difficulty, challenge and confrontation. Here I live in Tamworth where things look pretty good right now, but that’s because we had a few small drops of rain.
The reality is there’s far more going on for many people the drought is still biting and things are getting quite difficult.
Christmas will be wonderful for some but not quite so good for other people. Christmas is one of the worst seasons in our community for domestic violence.
In Australia, right now housing stress is increasing because prices are going up, but wages are not and right now despite recent rain drought is biting hard in our communities, right across the eastern States. The simple, extraordinary wonder of Christmas is that Jesus appears amongst us in the midst of everything. A tiny baby born in a rural even a remote community.
Christmas is not air brushing out the hard things but God getting in the midst of it all deliberately.
In Jesus, God engages in the reality of our lives in every aspect, God gets in the way. This is where our hope begins. It means we listen and serve not just seeking to solve problems but to be engaged with. If you are struggling, if, for you this season is hard, you are not alone.
Hope in Jesus isn’t magic, but it tells us that we are valued beyond measure that we’ll find our way through this story, no matter how challenging and that Jesus is with us.
And there is still joy here, much to celebrate because Christmas is no illusion God is with us in every circumstance.
Rev. Simon Hansford, Moderator Synod of NSW and ACT