I’ve been sent a press release from the NCC with Christmas messages from various denominations. There are twelve messages, so I’ll do my best to post them all for your perusal as we head towards Christmas day. The first is from the NCC itself.
9 December 2008
from the National Council of Churches in Australia
CHRISTMAS MESSAGES FROM AUSTRALIAN CHURCH LEADERS
“… in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son” Hebrew 1:2 TEV
The message from our government and business community this Christmas is: “Spend up big for the sake of the country.” Will we be rich or poor? This seems to be the ultimate economic question. No matter how well off we become we still fear losing it all.
On the one hand we must save for the future. On the other we must spend as much as we can for the present, and Christmas is given as the reason. The message seems to be how we manage our economy and provide for ourselves.
But that’s not the message. Christmas is about our God who is incredibly generous, loving, and unreasonably extravagant toward human beings. Christmas says ‘thank you’ for his astonishing daily gifts. God has spent up big on us, and he continues to spend up big.
Christmas is a Christian festival that celebrates a divine life, the life of God’s Son, born in the most unlikely circumstances, and given for the sake of the world. There is no greater gift, freely given, that once received lasts for eternity.
Celebrate and spend this Christmas, if it’s good for the economy. But even better, say thank you to God, because that’s good for the soul and for your life.
Revd John Henderson, General Secretary
National Council of Churches in Australia
(NB. In the Western Church, Christmas is celebrated on December 25. Most Orthodox Churches will celebrate the Feast of the Nativity on January 7, 2008.)