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Christmas story offers hope for modern problems

Christmas story offers hope for modern problems

Movement of peoples, acts of terrorism, the clashing of political powers, religious extremism, hope and despair. They are the stories and images in our daily news. They are also part of the first Christmas story.

Presbyterian Church Moderator, the Rt Rev Andrew Norton believes that in considering these modern challenges, the Christmas narrative has significant relevance.

“Today as we struggle to make sense of our world, we need look no further than the Christmas story to help us respond to events like the current refugee crisis and terrorism.

“Like millions of displaced Syrians today, Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus were also refugees. They were forced from Bethlehem by extremism and sought a compassionate land to take them in.

“They were fleeing in fear because King Herod the Great, a man obsessed with power and violence, wanted to murder Jesus. He decreed that all baby boys in Bethlehem under the age of two be killed. Mary, Joseph and Jesus fled and found save haven in Egypt, returning to their homeland years later after Herod’s death.”

The Christmas story is one of hope, of bravery and generous hospitality says Andrew.

“While terrorists claim victory through fear, the Christmas message is ‘fear not’.

“Those who ‘fear not’ are like the innkeepers who open the doors of their hearts in hospitality to those in need.

“Those who ‘fear not’ are the wise men and women who speak out and take action against violence in our communities and in our world.

“Those who ‘fear not’ are the gift givers who practice generosity and goodwill towards all people.

“The gift of Jesus is hope for the world because love drives out all fear. Fear not!” says Andrew.

/ends

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