Photo Credit: Diocese of Raiwind
A Christmas message from the Primate of the united Church of Pakistan, President Bishop Samuel Azariah.
Christmas message is a profound proclamation of God and of His love, not only for human beings but, for the entire creation. The uniqueness of Christian faith expressed at Christmas is that “God became Human”. This belief may sound unconvincing/complicated, and to some it may be “Blasphemous” but then the reality is that the transformation of lives in countless numbers has been on the basis of this belief and sharing. It is in and through the birth of Jesus that we as humans can perceive/understand the heart and mind of our Creator.
Our experience and belief of God in the midst of His creation, energises us with hope and positivity to face and repair the broken realities of our society and world situation. The world’s social, political and economic context is changing/changed contrary to the general expectation of a lot of people. This has created sensation, fear and anxiety amongst many but then there are many who perceive these changes as God’s will for a positive tomorrow. The narrative of Jesus’ birth gives a clear message through the Angel Gabriel, that God is focused on the weak and marginalised. This is expressed in the living example of Mary selection, a common, simple young and virgin from the margin of her society, in a land occupied by foreign power to be told that God will happen in that context. The birth of Jesus forces us to look into the future to realise, experience and recognise that God is with us and happens within our context at the present time.
Pakistan continues to deal with major socio-economic and political challenges as it stands at a crossroad making efforts of moving forward. The absence of love, trust, forgiveness and honesty comes as our main cataract of not being able to see the presence of God's positivity amongst us. Our over emphasis on institutional religiosity has dampened our efforts of love and unity amongst the people of different faith and social groups of our country. This has given fuel to religious extremism, with the holier than thou attitude amongst ourselves.
The message of the Birth of Jesus is that we equally stand guilty before the throne of God for His mercy, and forgiveness. We need to humble ourselves to experience the Grace of God and may the Joy of Immanuel and the Angels be a part of our life and our Nation.
Wishing you all a Blessed and meaningful experience of Christmas, as we move forward with a vision of peace, tolerance and justice.