The Archbishops of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia have asked their people to go back to focusing on kindness, peace and goodwill to all as we approach Christmas this year.
In the Christmas message from Archbishop Don Tamihere and Archbishop Philip Richardson that follows in full below, they point toward the light and hope that Christ brings into the world at Christmas, and call on all people to live in the way of love.
“Sa Nona na Kalou na vakarokoroko ena veiyasana e cake sara, me veivinakati o vuravura vei ira sa lomana o koya!
स्वर्ग में परमेश्वर की जय हो और धरती पर उन लोगों को शांति मिले जिनसे वह प्रसन्न है।”
“Ko e kolōlia ki he ‘Otua ‘i langi taupotu, pea ko e melino ki māmani, ki he kakai kuo hōifua ki ai.
“O le viiga i le Atua i mea aupitoaluga; ma le manuia i le lalolagi; o le finagalo alofa i tagata.
“Kia whai korōria te Atua i runga rawa, kia mau te rongo ki runga ki te whenua, me te whakaaro pai ki ngā tāngata.
“Glory to God in the highest, peace to all the earth, and goodwill toward all people!
– Luke 2:14, The song of the angels.
It wasn’t that long ago that our national message was “Be kind”. And for the most part we were true to that message.
We were grateful, and thanked our frontline workers for keeping us safe. We thanked our health workers, those who provided food and services, ministers, volunteers, and those who helped the community. We waited patiently in line at the supermarket and even let others go before us.
We went out of our way to be kind to one another. But for some, kindness couldn’t last.
Some became tired. Some lost patience. Some felt aggrieved. Some got angry. Some decided that there was nothing to be grateful for anymore. They stopped saying thanks. They stopped being kind.
But there are many who continued to show their kindness. They were those same frontline workers, health workers, food and service providers, ministers, volunteers, and community helpers. Theirs was a kindness shown not by mere words, but rather by the power of their actions. They kept turning up for us and they turned up every day.
We still have so much to be grateful for.
Christmas is a time of giving. It is also a time of giving thanks. Following the birth of Jesus, the angels of heaven burst into song. “Glory to God in the highest” they sang. “Peace to all the earth.”
“And goodwill to all people.”
This Christmas we can recapture the joy that was felt on that first day when Jesus was born. We can do so by giving Glory to God in the highest. We can do so by striving for peace on earth. We can do so by showing goodwill to all people.
We can do so by being kind to others, no matter what.
So let peace be the pandemic. Let kindness be the contagion. And let love be the miracle.
Merry Christmas to you all, and may all God’s blessings be yours in the days to come.