It is Christmas Eve 2012 and we are all back in Canada for a few weeks; three of us from Haiti and our oldest son, Adam, from college in Iowa. I returned from Haiti a week ago to visit some of our supporting churches and have now met up with Tracey and Samuel to spend Christmas with family in Sarnia, Woodstock and Hamilton. We plan to be back in Haiti in early January.
The other day I was reminded of this Christmas song we have sung in church with the children many times.
He came down that we may have love;
He came down that we may have joy;
He came down that we may have peace;
He came down that we may have hope;
He came down to bring love, joy, peace and hope. Where is this promised love, joy, peace and hope in a world that at times seems so void of any of this?
When the news reports of firefighters being shot as they response to a fire in New York and a bakery full of innocent people is bombed in Syria, where is the promised peace? While many Aboriginals in Canada live in the poorest of conditions and a multitude of Haitians barely survive living in camps of squalor under tarps and tents, where then is the promised hope? Children are killed in senseless attacks and others take their own life after being bullied and the parents ask, “where is the love”? All of this makes us question where the promised joy is.
Fortunately the story of Jesus doesn’t end with his birth. No that is just the beginning. We see love and joy demonstrated for us when Jesus sacrificed himself on a cross for all people that we may experience peace and hope in His victory over the grave. That true and amazing love gives us all hope. Hope that what we are experiencing now is not the way this world is meant to be and peace and joy knowing that one day Jesus will return to make all things new.
It is Christmas time we are celebrating but that is just part of the larger story unfolding. This is a story we are excited to be part of as we witness the ways God is moving through His people in Haiti, bringing hope, joy, peace and love. A great reason to celebrate that He came down.
A blessed Christmas to you all.