Twelve days of Christmas 2

The Anglicans state their case for our thoughts for this Christmas:

Anglican Church of Australia

This Christmas the talk around the dinner table will probably be very different from last year.  The world has changed quite dramatically in 2008 and many people fear for their future.

 

But spare a thought for those in real poverty.  In Australia we might be limiting our spending on Christmas gifts but today more than 1.4 billion people live on less than $1.25 a day.  That is extreme poverty.

 

This Christmas I urge people everywhere to take time out to give thanks for what we have and for our standard of living here in Australia.  We should all reflect on those who we should be reaching out to, those in desperate need, those who can’t afford a meal let alone presents.

 

I am reminded of the words in Mathew 25.  ‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you invited me in; naked and you clothed me.’  In this parable the righteous queried Jesus saying they could not remember doing those things.  ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of mine, even the least of them, you did it to me.’

Archbishop Dr Phillip Aspinall, Primate
Anglican Church of Australia


4 thoughts on “Twelve days of Christmas 2

  1. Christmas is horrible for our families. It’s because there are so many expectations, stresses, hasstles and queus. So we’re putting our feet up and not doing presents this year.

    So what we’re doing is, instead of giving a present to let’s say my cousin, we’re giving a normal sum of money that usually would go towards a gift, to a poor person in Africa or Asia, or to an organization that wisely controls how money is spent for people’s well being.

    I encourage you all to do that too if you find Christmas laborious. We will feel great on Christmas day and will be eating with the whole family instead, enjoying eachother’s company – now that’s what I call a gift!

  2. Jesus couldn’t have been literally born at this time of year, and it’s basically a revamped pagan festival, so it’s not something we’ve ever really gone overboard about as a family.

    But, hey, what’s so bad about having a time of remembering the birth of Jesus, sharing presents and enjoying family get-togethers? You don’t need much of an excuse for those things.

    And most of the world celebrates this time of year in some way or other. Those who are religious in a Christian kind of way celebrate the birth of Christ. It brings some kind of focus to nominal Christians. So we should, as churches, be open to the opportunity which presents itself at this time.

    So we skip the pageant and cut through to the real meaning of the birth of Christ.

    ‘Unto us a Saviour is born!’

  3. Oh yeah, to clarify – we have a big lunch and dinner feast. This is to commemorate communion, Jesus’s life and birthday (whenever it truly was).

  4. Christmas for my family (including the extended family) is more a time for a family get together and gifts, than about Jesus. Now that sounds terrible, but I have never gone to church on Christmas Day. Partly that was because I grew up in a family that didn’t, with an atheist father. I tended later to participate in church activities leading up to Christmas, but never Christmas Day.

    Now, I see Christmas as a time to teach the kids about Jesus birth, and a time for family and gifts, and definitely also a time to remember the poor, and share some of our riches with them in various ways. I think that is a wonderful thing to do at Christmas time, whether it is as a family or as a church community.

    Sometimes, Christmas is the only time in the year when family will get together as a whole, and that is worth doing.

    Of course it developed out of many varied pagan festivals, which is rather fascinating, and that gives the opportunity to teach the kids about other cultures.

    I think it shows the need the human race has for ritual and commemoration, whether it be to start a new year, remember the change of seasons, focus on the importance of family, or to celebrate Jesus birth. I don’t think these things are mutually exclusive.

    Communion at Christmas time, whether with believing friends, or if you have a Christian family gathering, is a lovely thing to do, for sure.

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