We hope the year 2013 has been meaningful to you and all your loved ones. In this season of Advent, we in the WCRC office give thanks to God for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We do so at a time when our attention is focused on moving from Geneva to Hannover at the end of this month.
This reminds us that the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ was accompanied by a number of moves from one location to another. Three of the notable moves are:
Ø Mary and Joseph were forced to move from Nazareth to Bethlehem because of the edict of the emperor.
Ø The wise men from the East chose to leave their land and to make the long journey to greet the new born King.
Ø Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus were forced to move to become refugees in Egypt for a while because of the unjust reaction of King Herod to the news of the birth of a King.
Christmas this year therefore beckons us to reflect on movement and relocation. The fact is that most people in our churches are moving all the time – from one situation to another or from one location to another. Many are forced to do so because of conflicts and social circumstances. Our hearts go out in this Advent season to refugees created by situations such as in Syria, and to what leads to the senseless deaths of many in boat accidents in the Mediterranean Sea. As Christians we are also conscious of God’s calling us often to leave our comfort zones to move to a place in which God can use us.
Celebrating Christmas in the midst of reflecting on moving can remind us of the good news. The coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is an expression that GOD IS WITH US. The fact that God’s coming to be with us was in the context of moving – no matter how unsettling that may be – can be a sign of hope for all who may be feeling burdened by what is happening in their lives – whether that involves a literal move from one location to another or a figurative move from one circumstance in life to another.
The Good News is that God is with us, and we can operate joyfully and meaningfully in any location because God is always with us.
Merry Christmas – We welcome our Lord Jesus Christ once again: Emmanuel – God is indeed with us.
The President of WCRC, Rev. Prof. Jerry Pillay, my wife Akpene, and my colleagues here in Geneva and on the move to Hannover join me in wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2014.
Rev. Dr Setri Nyomi
World Communion of Reformed Churches