DOWNLOAD THE MODERATOR'S 2020 CHRISTMAS MESSAGE HERE, SEE THE PLAIN TEXT VERSION BELOW.
CHRISTMAS IS FAMILY TIME
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your loved ones.
The heart of the Christmas message is always, in my view, about the love of God.
“God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”. John 3:16.
Jesus is God’s gift for you - for your family, for your community, for all humanity, for all time. The greatest gift of love, which allows life to grow and exist eternally in that mysterious heavenly place.
The gifts and presents we give and receive at Christmas are extensions and examples of God’s love. The baby of Bethlehem is at the heart of all these gifts. It is one of the greatest joys of life, giving and receiving gifts and presents. And some of the best and most meaningful gifts and presents are not dependant on them being expensive; it is the real value that counts - the thought, and the love, behind the giving.
Close to the heart of Christmas is family, we know this because it is all there in the Bible. In Luke 2:1-7 we learn: A census is taken by the Roman authority, with each person to register in their family house in their home town. Joseph is a descendant of David, he is pledged to marry Mary. They travel to Bethlehem, the town of David. Jesus the Baby of Bethlehem is born.
The census created a massive family reunion, ordered and demanded by Caesar Augustus. Hence family will always be associated with Christmas.
May your family gather together this Christmas. It is good to spend time with family. Reconnect, relive, reconcile, renew the heart and love of family. Every one of us has a family, biologically or otherwise. Christmas is family time.
Merry Christmas indeed to each one of us. And may the happiness and peace of 2021 be ours, and our families, in Jesus Christ.
Right Reverend Fakaofo Kaio
Moderator Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand