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As Christians, what beautiful imagery we have to celebrate Christmas:

               A baby born in a stable, he and his family huddled among farm animals and shepherds;

               A star in the eastern sky guiding three wise kings bearing precious gifts for this newborn child;

               Angels in the heavens praising God for the child’s birth.

We also have tragic imagery as we contemplate the Holiday:

               A poor family tired from a long journey turned away at the inn for lack of room;

               A furious king slaughtering other babies in order to safeguard his position of authority;

               The baby and his fearful family fleeing to another country to avoid the king’s wrath.

In this challenging year, as we see tragic imagery on our digital devices brought on by the pandemic, racism, and economic hardship, it would seem that, as we enter the Season, all we have is fear and grief.

But what we have most of all, at Christmas and always, is hope:

“For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Is. 9:6, NRSV).

Written by Tony Kireopoulos, NCC Associate General Secretary, Faith and Order and Interfaith Relations