At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus, who came “that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10.10). The 13th Assembly of the Uniting Church, held in July this year, took that word of promise as its theme: Life Overflowing.
That abundance of Life contrasts with the kind of abundance that many Australians are all too familiar with – the kind that leaves us cluttered, bloated and burnt out, at odds with each other and entwined in unjust, unsustainable economic systems.
By contrast, abundance of Life is expressed in love and friendship, in generosity to neighbours in need, in hospitality to strangers, in compassion for all who are struggling or hurt – the things that make for reconciliation, justice and peace.
I ask that we all take a moment at our Christmas tables to remember those who are alone, or confined in our prisons or detention centres, or trying to maintain dignity and confidence in “prescribed communities” under the Stronger Futures legislation.
I pray that this year our Christmas is not overflowing with things and obligations, but overflowing with Life.