Messages of Hope

Christmas message from President Sharon Hollis

Published / by Peter


As we move towards Christmas, I find myself reflecting on the last couple of years and all that we have seen and experienced.

The measures to prevent the spread of COVID have affected all of us one way or another and we continue to be anxious as new variants emerge and any sense of being able to plan is again threatened.

I am both grateful for the way these measures have saved so many lives and for the extraordinary hard work of so many front-line workers and also aware of all that we have missed during the last two years and all that the virus has revealed about our nation.

We have missed time with family and friends and the marking of moments of commemoration and celebration. We are more aware of how many people are lonely and suffer from social isolation.

The virus has exposed the inequality in our country, with the poorest suffering the most, in a country that lacks an adequate social safety net. As businesses have suffered many people are worried about their financial future and job security

Many are concerned about the wellbeing of our young people and worry about our older friends and family, particularly those in aged care.

I am frustrated about the lack of equitable distribution of vaccines around the world and watch as the call of First Nations for Voice, Treaty, Truth falls on deaf ears in the land we call Australia.

I am concerned about growing tension in our region, and about climate change and the very real possibility of earth that can no longer sustain life in any meaningful way. I am angry at the lack of real action emerging from COP26.

For Christians, Christmas is the celebration of Jesus birth. In the birth of Jesus God becomes fully human. God enters all that causes us worry, sorrow, and anger. God with us is the promise of God’s presence in our worry and anxiety, reminding us we are not alone. We are loved by God. God is with us in our anger giving us the courage to use our anger to act.

God calls each of us to use our anger and sorrow to make space for those whose voices are most ignored, to be engaged in the work of repair of creation, and to be advocates and activists for a more just, compassionate, and equitable nation and world.

As we celebrate Christmas, I pray that our will is strengthened to work for the ways of God, which lifts up the lowly, feeds the hungry with good things and brings down the powerful (Luke 1:52-53).

Rev Sharon Hollis, President

Uniting Church in Australia Assembly

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