Life on planet earth seems more volatile than ever:
- Climate change is eroding our confidence in a predictable future.
- We live with the menacing reality of infectious diseases and pandemics which can sweep across continents in a flash.
- In many countries, food insecurity and the lack of clean water have led people to acts of desperation.
- All of these complex issues are compounded by wars and the multiplication of ways to kill.
Luke tells us that upon Christ’s birth, the angels sang, “Peace on earth among those whom God favours” (2:14, NRSV). Yet despite the more than two thousand years of Christianity since, peace remains elusive. As I write this, some thirty-two wars of varying intensity foment around the world. And of course, news of Russia and Ukraine, Israel and Hamas unfolds before us daily.
This Christmas, we are particularly grateful Jesus entered this world of discord, darkness, and disease. One of his names—Emmanuel—means God with us, a promise of God’s presence in the humdrum of daily life and in the more strenuous challenges of continuing Christ’s work. Ardently following in his steps leads us to seek peace, or shalom—wholeness, health, and harmony for all people. Upon those who labour for peace, Jesus bestows a profound blessing: they shall be called the children of God.
Thank you for your partnership with us on this journey, as your Council of Churches. In this Christmas season, may you enjoy shalom in every aspect of your life and in your home.
Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and every blessing in the New Year,
Rev. Dr. Das Sydney
The Canadian Council of Churches