CWM General Secretary’s Christmas Message

by CWM Communications Team

For times like this, the light comes

“The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.” (John 1:9)

Post tenebras lux or ‘Light After Darkness’ was a slogan of Reformation. The reformers perceived an apocalyptic vision in the midst of the darkest age across Europe. In equally hopeless circumstances today, the true light comes to the world to give light to our hearts for all who have lost their way and the joys and hopes of life. God comes to be with us, to bear our pains and sorrows, and to transform the world together with us. Even if the darkness likely to overwhelm the whole world, it cannot triumph over even a tiny ray of light. For, when small lights march together, empowering and encouraging each other in solidarity, the darkness will never overcome the light.

Our world is currently filled with forces threatening peace and life in communities. Driven by greed, self-centred motives, corruption and much more, life-threatening forces are trying to steal and destroy life and peace from the face of the earth. Consequently, we are witnessing numerous forms of destruction: including pandemics, military conflicts, climate crises, and social, political and economic inequalities. Such create divisions and destabilise communities to dominate and rule over the poor and oppressed. This is violence, which is against the vision of Christmas.

Hong Chong Myung, in a poem titled Against Violence, puts it in this way:

If one does not love the neighbour,
It is violence.
If one does not teach the way
To a child who lost his way,
It is violence.
If one does not give a cup of water
To a child who is thirsty,
It is violence.
If one does not provide anything
To hungry people,
It is violence.
If one does allow violence of personality,
It is violence.

By being born into this world, God expressed God’s love towards us, envisioning that we all could live in peace with one another and with creation so that we will flourish with life in all its fullness. The season of Christmas reminds us of the love of God and God’s vision of peace and life for all.

As God is with us through the incarnation, mission begins when the Church meets the world: when the Christians join in the mission of Immanuel, who is already present and at work in the world. The gospel of the reign of God challenges the world that keeps the status quo of the hopeless situation. The true light invites us, as transforming disciples, to dare to share the light and to let God’s love and peace glow brightly in the community. Although, like the disciples, we are small in numbers, poor in material terms, powerless in politics, and marginalised in religious traditions, we shall take courage to empower ourselves and the people who are oppressed and exploited, cold and hungry, sick and suffering. As we celebrate Christmas, let us take this opportunity to share God’s revelation in love with all those around us.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:14)

I wish you all a blessed Christmas!

Rev. Dr Jooseop Keum
General Secretary
Council for World Mission


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