The reason we anticipate and celebrate the advent of Jesus is because, in the Christian tradition, it is the arrival of God into human history, into a time of strife and conflict and sorrow. God comes in human form and reconciles people to himself and therefore to each other.
The message of Christmas is about a unique and uncommon gift – the gift of Christ Jesus – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.’’ John 3:16 – That, friends, is the message of Christmas.
We are called to receive that message and that precious gift of Christ Jesus. We do so by acknowledging and accepting the lordship and sovereignty of Christ, the Saviour of the world. We are also called to respond to this good news of the coming of Christ. We do so when we share in Christ’s vision and mission for an inclusive bold new world.
It is, however, the change we experience in Christ that gives meaning to Christmas. Christ came to make all things new and in Him we are a new creation. He transforms us in at least four ways:
– He gives us a new name
– He gives us a new nature
– He gives us a new need
– He gives us a new nation
Contact with Christ inescapably leads to change and commitment to change, without which Christmas is just another occasion for mundane celebration.
Friends, God is ever moving us through changing seasons, challenging us with new beginnings, with new hustles and new heights to overcome, new territories to chart and to conquer. God loves the new and His ultimate call is for us to embrace and abide in the freshness of the new!
We have heard the message of Christmas. May we respond to it, that we may experience the true meaning of Christmas through our transformed lives.
Alina Bugar, founder of the Art of Protocol, writes an article on the “Science and Art of Diplomatic Protocol”, highlighting the complexity and delicacy of diplomatic protocol in creating effective relations between governments and nations.
52nd Annual National Prayer Breakfast
The National Prayer Breakfast is an annual event held in Ottawa under the authority of the speakers of the Senate and the House of Commons and is organized by a group of volunteers. This year’s breakfast features an address by Governor General David Johnston. The theme of this year’s event is “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea.” (Psalms 72:8)
Freedom of conscience underpins many of the other human rights that we all enjoy. This is why the right to express your belief is enshrined in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, this freedom is being marginalised.
The Global Charter of Conscience will bring religious tolerance back to the centre of public debate, and it will help future generations engage freely in the public life of their nation.
The Charter has been drafted by people of many faiths and none, politicians of many persuasions, academics and NGOs, all committed to a partnership on behalf of “freedom of thought, conscience and religion” for people of all faiths and none.
The Charter calls for the cultivation of civility and the construction of a civil public square that maximises freedom for everyone. It provides a vision and framework to help us discuss and resolve our present problems in a constructive, rights-honouring manner.