A merry Christmas and a happy new year???

Is it really christmas eve? Isn’t christmas meant to be about joy and laughter and giving? Singing carols, unwrapping presents, watching crappy tv?

Even before the events of last week, working in the bush under 40degree sun, I couldn’t imagine Christmas was just around the corner. And then last week happened.

And what a week. I have so much to write and so many stories to tell. I don’t know where to begin. Even if I want to begin. It hurts. It hurts to see a country that was doing so well now unravelling. It hurts to leave people behind in it all. It hurts to read media reports forecasting further doom. It hurts.

And we shouldn’t be hurting at Christmas, right? Don’t the adverts on TV show happy, laughing people? Don’t the Christmas card pictures show peaceful, tranquil scenes? Isn’t Santa always jolly? Don’t we become Scrooge if we don’t enter the Christmas spirit?

Where does war and crying and fighting and pain fit into all that? Surely it has to be brushed aside, hidden, forgotten about?

Except…maybe…maybe…

Elizabeth and Zechariah must’ve been hurting after so many years of desperately wanting a child?
Mary must’ve felt pain when Joseph at first decided to call off their engagement?
The long journey Mary and Joseph had to travel all the way to Bethlehem. That must’ve brought despair, desperation and a physical kind of pain.
And what about when Herod murdered every child under 2 years? That was destruction and fighting and cruelty.
And then Jesus.
And then Jesus.
Coming into it all, not as someone who demands our constant energy and laughter, but one who comes into the middle of the hurting and the destruction and the war and the despair. And it says He comes as a counsellor. And as a peace-bringer. He comes to be God with us. God. With. Us.

Counsellor to South Sudan. One who can bring peace to that nation. God with us, God with them.

And to me, this year, that’s what Christmas is about. Strip away the fakeness, the layers it’s hidden behind and bring it back to the raw reality. The reality that Jesus came into a world that was very much hurting. And the hurting and destruction didn’t stop when He came. It is very much in the present in the true Christmas story. But Jesus, in it all, brings hope. He brings the opportunity of peace and the opportunity of reconciliation.

That’s the Christmas spirit I’m looking for this Christmas eve. Of God with us. God with South Sudan.
Happy Christmas.

Check the BBC website for continued updates on the situation in South Sudan. This link gives a brief insight into the situation there: http://www.BBC.co.UK/news/world-africa-25427965. Most of all, please continue to pray.

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8 thoughts on “A merry Christmas and a happy new year???

  1. Thank you, Pippa – very thought-provoking as always. We need to hear things like that.
    You really must use your gift for writing, it’s a God-inspired talent. In the midst of the turmoil you must be experiencing, we pray you may know His peace and blessing at this Christmas time. With our love, Jean and Michael.

  2. I am sure that all this is not news for our Father God. But he wants us to be part of it as we are part of Him. So thank you Pippa for sharing with us his feelings and stirring us up to join with Him in these feelings and respond in talking to him or like you do something about it.

  3. Dear Pippa – may our amazing Saviour, Redeemer and True Peace Giver provide you with an extra-special awareness of His wonderful Presence during this time of remembrance-of and rejoicing-for God’s Best Gift to mankind of Jesus Christ! Thank you for reminding us so beautifully, and thought-provokingly of the desperate situation in which so many in Africa and other countries find themselves. May each of us remember to think of and pray for those who carry the message of God’s Gift of Jesus Christ to all nations, and for those who have received and will receive Him as the Answer to mankind’s desperate plight, being bound by sin. While those who ‘have’ look forward to presents (gifts), let us rather be aware of and experience anew His Presence, abiding and providing the only True Peace and Joy to mankind. Let us come before Him, and rejoice! Special love to you! Heather & Alan Hall (Basil & Llewellyn Quinn’s mom)

  4. Dear Pippa, you are so right. I am saddened by what the world thinks of Christmas. I don’t want to go mad with food and presents I just want to say thank-you for all he has done, and all he has given. I love being with family and friends, but the main thing I want to do is say thank you and point the way to Him. God Bless you this Christmas Pippa. Love from Pauline & Andy xxxxxxxxxx

  5. Your father read this out at church on Christmas Day and then we prayed about it – although he couldn’t bring himself to read out ‘crappy’!

  6. Loving one another as God loves us and having him write his law on our hearts will change lives. You Pippa demonstrate this to this world and its people as we all should.

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