“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light
On those who have walked in the shadow of death a light has shone” (Is. 9:2)
This hope and vision of the new dawn that the Messiah brings to the
world is what makes Christmas so special. It is a wonderful piece of
good news for us to hear and embrace this Christmas.
We do not need to list all the areas of darkness and evil that we
have had to endure over this past year. The pain and loss that they
have brought to our families is raw and real.
We are always in need of new light and hope. Otherwise the darkness
and evil would overwhelm us. The child in Bethlehem is the unlikely
messenger of hope to the world. The infant, tiny and helpless, is a
measure of God’s love for us in our struggle with dark forces that
This Christmas we remember so many who suffer because of violence and
war in the Middle East and Africa. The threat of famine is very real
for many in Africa because of the effects of climate change.
At home the tragic loss of so many young and old people who have died
by suicide and road accidents. We keep their families close this
Christmas in our thoughts and prayers.
So many do not have a proper shelter to call home.
For all these ills, we pray for the leadership of men and women to
nurture hope and optimism in the hearts of so many who suffer and are
Despite all these afflictions we enjoy many blessings in family and
friendship. Our country is rich in opportunities for young people. We
are blessed with so many public servants who are dedicated to the
service of people in health and justice, education and public services.
We need to appreciate these blessings. Failure to appreciate our
blessings will condemn us to being constantly cranky and disgruntled.
The Christ – child, Emmanuel, “God with us”, is the core blessing of
Christmas. I hope you cherish the light and hope it brings to your
Wishing you the light and hope of this special time.
+ Wm. Crean