How shall we celebrate this Christmas, when we need to mute our singing and gather at arms’ length? We cannot let fear of infection dilute the wonder of what God has done, we cannot let the lack of our singing restrain our celebrations. When we have been told that the only way to be safe is by being distant from each other, we proclaim that by coming close to all of us, God has indeed brought life.
In Jesus, God says yes to forgiveness, to justice, to healing. In Jesus’ birth, God embraces those on the edges, those unnamed, those our community brushes aside. When we believe that we are beyond the reach of God’s mercy, outside the hope of God’s love, Christmas asserts that none of us is beyond God finding each of us, welcoming us, and bringing us home.
Christmas assures us that God is never distant. In Jesus, God says "yes".
Download the Christmas Video for your Congregations here.
Download the Christmas Message without the introduction from the Moderator for Church services here.
TRANSCRIPT OF THE VIDEO
Imagine a God, who, from the very beginning says “Yes”
A God, who, in shaping light from dark, dry land from water, and placing humanity at the heart of it, says “Yes”.
Who, despite our frailty and failures, seeks us out, calls our name, and welcomes us home.
Imagine a God, always hopeful, forever faithful, and never distant.
This is the God we know in Jesus Christ. Our story is made complete in Jesus.
As we consider how we can celebrate Christmas after this strugglesome, rigorous year, we begin where we have always needed to – with Jesus, the promise of God.
We’ve had a year of social, physical and emotional distance, but God always comes to us.
Even when we are distant, feeling isolated in our homes, God is there. Always with a Yes.
It is precisely because of years like this one, drought and bushfires, coronavirus, and its wake, that Christmas is vital.
After a year of panic buying, lockdown and loneliness we have the hope and peace of the not too distant God.
Rev. Simon Hansford, Moderator of the Uniting Church Synod of NSW and ACT