Archbishops share Christmas hope

“Kia whai korōria te Atua i runga rawa, kia mau te rongo ki runga ki te whenua, me te whakaaro pai ki ngā tāngata.

“O le viiga i le Atua i mea aupitoaluga; ma le manuia i le lalolagi; o le finagalo alofa i tagata.

“Sa Nona na Kalou na vakarokoroko ena veiyasana e cake sara, me veivinakati o vuravura vei ira sa lomana o koya!

स्वर्ग में परमेश्वर की जय हो और धरती पर उन लोगों को शांति मिले जिनसे वह प्रसन्न है।

“Ko e kolōlia ki he ‘Otua ‘i langi taupotu, pea ko e melino ki māmani, ki he kakai kuo hōifua ki ai.

“Glory to God in the highest, peace to all the earth, and goodness and kindness to all people!
– Luke 2:14, The song of the angels.

The story of the birth of Jesus is a story of hope and new beginnings. In the Gospel of Luke, when the shepherds of Bethlehem had gathered to tend to their flocks at night, they were met by an angel who announced to them the birth of the Christ child. It was then that the heavens opened, and a heavenly host of angels sang:

“Glory to God in the highest, peace to all the earth, and goodness and kindness to all people!

The promise of peace resounded in the hearts of those shepherds and drew them to the place where Jesus had been born. He was a symbol to them of all that the people longed for, and all that the world could be: Peace on earth, and goodness and kindness to all people.

Some 2000 years later we might say that we still long for the same things. In a world where the last 4 years have been marked by a global pandemic, massive climate disasters, economic trauma, and the escalation of war and brutal conflict, we might wonder if the promise of peace could ever be real.

Jesus was born during a time of brutal Roman colonisation. His people were oppressed ruthlessly, and any opposition to Roman and Herodian rule was met with lethal force. They were no strangers to suffering and tribulation. The shepherds of Bethlehem knew this as well as anyone else, and they could have given themselves over to despair and uncertainty. But the angel found them working to feed their people, and there was able to give them a new hope and a new song. There’s a lesson there for all of us if we’re prepared to hear it.

So when the angels find you, may they find you working for the people. May the song of heavenly hosts be the voice that you hear on the wind. May you know the Christ child, and may there be peace in your world and goodwill and kindness in all that you say and do.

May you find new hope and a new song this Christmas season, and more importantly may you bring new hope and a new song to those who need it most.”  Source Anglican Taonga