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A Christmas Message from PWRDF’s Executive Director

This nativity set was a gift to PWRDF from the Bishop of Masasi, Tanzania. Photo: Simon Chambers

December 20, 2016

By Will Postma

Good news of great joy for all people. These are words for the ages. My grandfather meditated on these words and told me to never forget. A simple but powerful Christmas-is-coming, Christmas-is-here message. In the words of the Reverend Shawn Sanford Beck, a priest and educator from the Diocese of Saskatoon, who wrote PWRDF’s Advent 2016 meditations, these words bring a thrill to our hearts. Do read Shawn’s Christmas Eve reflection and others in his inspiring PWRDF Advent series.

As we wait and look forward to Christmas, we look forward to peace and safety in Syria. We look forward to justice for First Nations, Métis and Inuit people in this land of Canada. We look forward to reconciliation with Indigenous communities across Canada.

I spent three days in Pikangikum in December of this year, and while learning of the beauty and pain of the Pikangikum First Nation, I also saw the pictures on TV from one of the five hotel rooms in Pikangikum, pictures of the tens of thousands of women, men and children fleeing — being evacuated from — Aleppo.

Those of us at PWRDF look forward to more households in Indigenous communities in Canada having clean water, more families with sufficient and nutritious food to eat all year long, for the best possible health care for more women giving birth in even the most remote and vulnerable areas of the world.

We look forward to peace, safety, joy for all people and are refreshed by the announcement from the angel to the shepherds: Behold, do not be afraid.

Be awe-struck, be amazed, but…

… Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.

The angel says all of these thrilling words to the terrified shepherds, those living on the margins, socially outcast, not the learned or the privileged. But the shepherds were filled with joy when they heard and experienced this invitation from the angel.

Those of us at PWRDF look forward to and take steps, sometimes tentative, sometimes what we hope are big leaps towards a more peaceful, just and compassionate world. We are inspired by the Christmas story as told to the shepherds, who responded with a let’s go (Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened) and a hurried pace (they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger)

May the Christmas story of joy never cease to amaze, comfort and inspire.

Will Postma,
Executive Director, PWRDF

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