Joy to the world, the saviour reigns, Let Earth receive her king.
These Christmas carol words reflect the Christian belief that the birth of Jesus affects the story of the whole world, the entire creation. Since Jesus is not just a first century Jew but the son of God the Creator, Christians see his birth as God’s coming into the world for the sake of all the world, for all humanity and, indeed, for all created things.
As we approach Christmas 2015, that vision of our really being one world, one human family, is taking some serious hits from the great challenges of our time. At the Paris climate talks it would seem that the nations of the world have for once recognised that we are all in this together and have looked beyond narrow interests to the good of our common home.On the other hand, we are in the midst of a refugee crisis of unprecedented scale. The conflicts that have led to this crisis reflect deep divisions in the human family along ethnic, religious, economic and cultural lines. There is no ‘one world’ view here.The answers to our world problems are not simple. Pope Francis has written that we need a new politics, a new economics, a new ecological vision. It is undeniably a large agenda. If we are to move forward, there needs to be a renewed understanding of our unity, of our connectedness to one another, to the whole of created reality, to the people who have gone before us and the generations that will follow.
This Christmas, Christians will again look into the crib and see not just a baby from olden times but, to their eyes, the Saviour of the World. They will see ‘God-with-us’ and recall the words of our gospel: God so loved the world that he sent his only Son. Reflecting on that, we should see ourselves and all of creation, as deeply and truly bound together – connected throughout the world for whom the Son of God has come.
Bishop Bill Wright – Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. Read the full message atmn.catholic.org419论坛