Christmas Greetings from CWM General Secretary

by Cheon Young Cheol

The message and the miracle of Christmas is that God’s love greeted a perishing world wrapped in the simplicity of a child, born of ordinary parents in a lowly stable.  Some two thousand years ago shepherds, attending to sheep, received the message in the remote countryside of Bethlehem and populate it to the community.  The miracle unfolded as the drama of fear, anxiety, abusive power, adoration and defiance played itself out.  Fearful shepherds could not contain themselves because the message they received was unmistakably clear.  Herod became anxious and used his power to eliminate anyone who could in the remotest of ways threaten his empire.  Wise men prostrated themselves in adoration and worship of the infant and defied the authority of the Herod by ‘departing to their country another way’.

That miracle remains the amazement and wonder of diverse peoples across cultures even after two thousand years; because the message of Christmas continues to inspire hope and goodwill among all people.  Christmas, in that sense, is the gift of God’s love, offered to all as the source of healing and hope for a perishing world.   For the Christian community, Jesus is the reason behind Christmas, the embodiment of God’s love and the hope for a dying world.  According to M. S. Fontaine, “Love came down at Christmas, wrapped in the birth of infant Jesus”, a miracle indeed.

It is the ordinariness of the gift, so unassuming yet so complete, that amazes and inspires.  The exchange of gifts during this season is a fitting expression of our celebration and should be encouraged as a way of life throughout the year.  However the extravagance of consumerism during this season is unnecessary and could be easily replaced with expressions of goodwill for the millions for whom this Christmas is just another day of hardship and turmoil.

Council for World Mission salute you in the spirit of Christmas, offering you the message of hope and inviting you to be a messenger of God’s love, spreading the miracle of Christmas.

The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord….  …the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us now go to Bethlehem and see….  When they saw this they made known what had been told about this child; and all who heard it were amazed” (Luke 2: 10-11).

We pray with you that the message of Christmas will bring healing and hope to a perishing world; and that in the midst of mixed emotions, the miracle will unfold, restoring the breach, healing our land and building bridges of understanding among all peoples.

In the spirit of Christmas,

Rev Dr Collin I. Cowan

General Secretary

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