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Church: It's Not What You Own But How You Act That Matters

Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand:

Church Reminds Consumers It's Not What You Own But How You Act Towards Others That Matters This Christmas

Turn off our cell phones, computers and iPads for just one day this Christmas and experience the simple joys of life by practising the Maori value of kanohi ki te kanohi "face to face quality time with the people closest to you, urges the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Moderator of the Presbyterian Church, the Right Rev Ray Coster, describes pervasive pre-Christmas advertising as pressuring people to believe that the person who has the good life has an iPhone or iPad, good looks and figure, white teeth, great food and expensive wine, a fast car, and earnings of hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.

"Yet, when we talk about a good person these sorts of things are never mentioned, we do not talk about what a person owns, we talk of how they act, and whether they are kind and loving." Ray says. "We need to remind ourselves this Christmas that it is the simpler things of life that we still value and honour. The good person genuinely seeks to do good to others, and has time for people. This Christmas, for at least one day, let"™s turn off our devices and be good people to each other."

Ray says that although each technological advance is designed to make life and work easier and to enable us to have greater leisure time this has not always been the case.

"One of the consistent messages I hear is how people have little time for themselves, and how they have an inner longing for a simpler lifestyle."

Ray says the celebration of Christmas brings together in striking contrast the complexity of modern life and the simplicity of times past.

"The Christmas story reminds us of the beauty of simplicity. The Christmas story is neither busy nor pressured. Mary conceived a child in one town, gave birth in another town "“ all without pomp and ceremony. There was no Facebook or Twitter so only a very small group of people even knew of the birth of Jesus. That first Christmas is such a contrast to the unnecessary pace of the life we live in the Western world."


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