I write this letter as the world reels from recent events across the globe seen in Paris. The temptation is to allow it to lead to a climate of fear and of suspicion. Andy, our mission partner working in Paris wrote to us saying;
“Over the last few days, we have been passive witnesses to terrible events. But as Christians, we are of course also called to be active witnesses of a different reality that Jesus calls the Kingdom of God. It is easy to lose sight of this Gospel perspective in a media saturated society where attitudes are so easily forged by powerful images and strong emotions. This doesn't mean we retreat into an escapist world, seeking to deny reality and its pain and sorrow. But rather that we believe that God is present in the midst of the pain of this world, precisely where we do not expect it, or where we are tempted to think that he is absent. God's love is greater than hate, His Life stronger and more real than the forces of death at work around us.”
As we prepare to celebrate Christmas it is this radical love of God that we celebrate; a love that chose to come into a broken and hurting world in the form of a baby, born in poverty, to parents fleeing an evil regime. A baby who would grow up to be the one who would defeat the final enemy, death, and establish his kingdom of peace and justice.
Christmas gives us an amazing opportunity to speak up for why there is something to celebrate even in the midst of such horror and pain.
We are so grateful to all those who are working so hard to prepare music, words, mulled wine and a warm welcome – to enable our services over this Christmas to be places where people can hear something of the radical love of God.
May you know the Peace of Christ this Christmas