Vic/Tas Moderator Sharon Hollis has released a video message for Christmas. You can watch the message below and read the full transcript.
When we think of Christmas Nativity plays what often first comes to mind is a group of adorable children acting out the Christmas story.
So why am I here at Uniting AgeWell Kingsville Community for my Christmas message?
One of the interesting things about Luke’s Nativity story is that most of the characters, except for the holy family, are old.
Mary’s cousin Elizabeth and husband Zechariah are beyond childbearing years yet Elizabeth becomes pregnant with a son, John, who will tell of what Jesus’s coming means to the world.
Elizabeth and Zechariah model for us God’s capacity to bring life and joy where there has been sadness.
They invite us to rejoice in the wonderful new things God is doing in the world and in our lives and to be open to the surprising ways God enters into human history.
Simeon and Anna who greet the child Jesus in the temple, confident that this child is God’s promised salvation, are old people who have been waiting a long time for this moment.
They never gave up hoping that God would bring salvation to them and to the whole world.
The faithfulness of Anna and Simeon, their years of devotion, their ever-watchful hopefulness, their unwavering belief in God’s promises is compelling for us no matter our age.
They call us to keep watch for God’s presence which brings faith and joy to our hearts and renews the whole creation to reflect God’s good ways.
They invite us to keep hoping that the justice we long for in the world will come to be through God’s loving action.
They embody for us the truth that each of us is made in the image of God and that image does not diminish because we age, our bodies don’t work as well they used to or our memory is failing us.
Christmas is the season when we celebrate God taking on our human form and declaring that we are made whole by this action, that our bodies are not something despised by God.
Anna and Simeon, Elizabeth and Zechariah, Mary and Joseph all help us to see that God’s love is for all and for each.
It is especially for those we often overlook or judge, the childless, the old, the young women not conforming to society’s norms.
They remind us that when our bodies are weak or despised Jesus is with us. When we are judged harshly by the world Jesus looks at us with love. When we are ignored because we old or frail Jesus sees us and cherishes us.
In this Christmas season may we be ever watchful for the coming of Christ into our world.
May we have Anna and Simeon’s faithful hope that God is at work in the world bring peace, kindness, mercy and justice.
May we be filled with Elizabeth and Zechariah’s joy at how God’s gift of Jesus causes delight.
May we know that in Jesus Christ the hopes of everyone who longs for faith, for forgiveness for justice and peace are born in human flesh.
I wish you all a very happy Christmas.