December 21st, 2017
Christmas: a time of Good News, Joy, Faith and Hope
The birth of baby Jesus symbolizes several themes, but, Good News, Joy, Faith and Hope are the main subjects of reflection and are also relevant tools adaptable to today’s climate.
The story of the birth of Jesus
Mary, a young Jewish woman was visited by the Angel Gabriel who told her she would have a son, named Jesus, who would be the Son of God! Mary was confused and worried about this sudden news, as she was virgin, but she had faith in God and said, “I am the Lord’s servant; let it be as you say.”
Mary and her husband-to-be, Joseph, lived in a town called Nazareth. But they had to travel to the city of Bethlehem to register for a census ordered by the Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus. Both Nazareth and Bethlehem are in the country now called Israel. When Joseph and Mary got to Bethlehem, there was no place for them to stay and resulted in spending the night in a manger where she later gave birth to Jesus.
Christmas marks the time of Good News, Angel Gabriel brought the Good News to Mary. He told her ‘” He will be a great man and will be called the Son of the Most-High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. Your son will be king of Jacob’s people forever, and his kingdom will never end”.This season celebrates and encourages the bearing of good news to others, through acts of love, giving or offering precious quality time to those without family or loved ones.
Angel Gabriel said to them, “Don’t be afraid! I am here with good news for you, which will bring great joy to all the people”. Jesus always brought joy everywhere he went and HART operating in Christ-like ideologies such as giving and supporting the oppressed and persecuted, it has produced joyous outcomes. From growing the number of health workers treating 70-100 patients per month in Shan State, Burma or Uganda’s PAORINHER centre’s incredible attainment growth from 33 to over 700 children with HIV.
Mary and Joseph demonstrated faith and obedience as they followed the instructions of Angel Gabriel. The bible defines faith as “to have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see” which Mary and Joseph clearly illustrated. Her faith towards conceiving a child as a virgin and maintaining the faith to bear a child of such greatness and holy authority where his glory is everlasting, “Your son will be king of Jacob’s people forever, and his kingdom will never end’ inspires us to trust in God always, despite the current situations our partners experience, they go forward and achieve goals for their people, despite the extreme difficulties and dangerous circumstances.
Mary and Joseph’s resilience and courageous conduct despite the odds of having no rooms available, believing and looking into the future the way they did, and trusting for a safe delivery considering the long journey made from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Hope is a key component needed in today’s climate and should be applied into the New Year.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas whilst remembering to imitate the qualities of Jesus; spread Good News, bear gifts, live in love as Christianity teaches “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself”. Also remain hopeful for the things to come especially as we are entering a new year and HART continues giving to those in desperate need, alleviating poverty, empowering communities and promoting human rights through aid and advocacy.
Merry Christmas Everyone from HART!
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