Message from the Chaplain

Rev Willie Liebenberg

What is Christmas about? It’s a question with many different answers! In a world where people appear more divided than ever before it may feel complex. Yet at its core, the Christmas spirit is about doing what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are, to make a difference in the lives of people.

For me, I love the example of Jesus as he sets the bar for Christmas spirit: Acts 10: 38 (MSG), “Then Jesus arrived from Nazareth, anointed by God with the Holy Spirit, ready for action. He went through the country helping people and healing everyone who was beaten down.”

God loves us and returning what we have received is a great gift that completes the divine circuit of ‘love returning love’. Love has the power to transform us and celebrating this sits at the heart of Christmas!

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov [1] said, “Love [people] even with [their] [mistakes], for that is the semblance of Divine Love and is the highest love on earth. Love all God’s creation, the whole and every grain of sand in it. Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light. Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things.Once you have perceived it, you will begin to comprehend it better every day. And you will come at last to love the whole world with an all-embracing love. To love God is to love what God loves. To love God means to love everything and everyone . . . No exceptions. God’s love helps us to love things and people in themselves, and not for what they do for us. That’s when we begin to love our family, friends, and neighbours.”

That’s Christmas! Love is both human and divine:

  • Divine love is the energy that brought the universe into being and binds it together.
  • Human love is whatever energy we use to help divine love achieve its purpose.

So this Christmas, I invite our community to reflect on these very sentiments. I wish you all a beautiful and blessed Christmas and look forward to seeing you in the new year.