President Rainer Korte of the Firle Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was one of five prominent Adelaide church leaders invited to share a Christmas message for readers of the Advertiser newspaper on 24th December. The other church leaders were Catholic Archbishop Philip Wilson, Reverend Sue Ellis, Moderator of the Uniting Church, Anglican Bishop Tim Harris, and Lutheran Bishop David Altus.
President Korte’s Christmas message is included in its entirety below.
Christmas has been the season of light ever since the new star appeared above Bethlehem revealing that Jesus Christ, the light of the world, was born.
We can celebrate Christ’s birth, and the hope and salvation he brought into the world, by making the world a brighter place for others. The season can be a sad time for many – those who face their first Christmas without a loved one, those who have lost jobs, health or hope. In our community, we have people who have suffered the recent trials of bushfires and floods.
And while Jesus taught that he is the light of the world, he also said that we are (Matthew 5:14) – reminding us that his great example of love and service is our call to action too.
This has been the focus of a worldwide 'Light the World' Christmas campaign launched this year by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To encourage all to lift burdens as he did. To care as he did.
It is not enough to just sing about goodwill, we need to be peacemakers and the sharers of goodwill. And while this applies all year round, there is something about Christmas that gives us the courage to reach out to others with less hesitation. People are often kinder, more cheerful, charitable, and more able than at other times to both give and receive.
Charles Dickens summed it up this way in A Christmas Carol: “I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time … as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people … as if they really were fellow-passengers … and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore … I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!”
Christmas is a time for reflection and worship and family traditions and renewal of hope.
Christ’s message, ‘Peace be Still’ can be a calming influence when we are in stormy seas or caught up in a frantic pace that stops us from enjoying this special time with our loved ones, and from helping others on their journey.
May this Christmas season be one of joy, faith and peace and an opportunity that each of us takes to reflect Christ’s love in all our interactions with others.
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