Tuesday, 29 November 2016

2016 Christmas Message

At this time of the year, travel comes to mind. We all have been on a journey of some description over the past twelve months. Whether it be traveling overseas as I have been when I went to the World Federation Assembly for Methodist and Uniting Church Women in Houston, in Australia or visiting family and friends in our own cities. Next year I will be visiting some of your groups throughout Australia and look forward to meeting you on my travels.

Travel is appropriate when we look back at the Christmas story of Joseph and Mary traveling to Bethlehem, the Shepherds and the Wise Men making long journeys to welcome the Christ child. As we approach the Christmas season, we are filled with hope and anticipation.  Jesus’ birth lies at the heart of our faith journey.

Many of the cards we receive also have images or words about peace. Peace is one gift of God that we celebrate particularly at this time of the year. Angels proclaiming peace on earth announce the birth of the Prince of Peace to the Shepherds. The rulers of the world continually struggle to achieve that vision. Some Christmas cards contain lines from Christmas carols and they encourage us to burst into song with gratitude in our hearts. So at this Christmas time may your peace rule in our hearts and your word dwell richly in us as we sing songs of gratitude this Christmas and always.

I was given this Christmas prayer by a good friend and I would like to share it with you.  This prayer was written by Robert Louis Stevenson:

 

Loving Father, help us remember the birth of Jesus
That we may share in the song of angels,
The gladness of the shepherds,
And the worship of the wise men.
Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world.
Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting.
Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings,
And teach us to be merry with clean hearts.
May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children.
And the Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts.
Forgiving and forgiven,
For Jesus’ sake.
Amen.

 

May you all travel safely over the Christmas period.

Enjoy your faith journeys in your groups over the next twelve months.

Blessings,

Margaret Pedler

National Chairperson
Uniting Church Adult Fellowship