Put family arguments aside and enjoy a peaceful Christmas
Put old family arguments aside and enjoy a peaceful Christmas Day says Church
While Christmas is often a time of joy for reunited families, for others it is a time of arguments, old grudges and reminders of the differences that separate us.
A recent survey found that the average British family will have at least five arguments on Christmas Day, often over family gossip and grievances. In New Zealand, family conflict leads to increases in domestic violence during the Christmas holiday period.
“Most families and communities I know have walls that divide them in some form. The barriers that separate us from one another are cultural, ethnic, religious, sexual, political and socioeconomic,” says the Right Rev Andrew Norton, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa.
“Christmas is no tinsel-in-the-park sentimental song; it is a message to the very core of our relationships with one another - our friends, family, communities, our enemies and God. Christmas has a way of bringing out the best and worst in us. It shines on all that is broken in our lives.
“Christmas two thousand years ago, as today, comes into a world of great conflicts. Christmas is God’s gift of peace making and reconciliation. Christmas is a time for for-giving.
“The greatest gift you can give this Christmas can’t be bought off the shelf, it is within you to give and receive ‘for-give-ness’. “
“It is my prayer that peace and reconciliation may come to all our families and communities this Christmas,” says the Right Rev Norton.