December 14, 2017
By Will Postma
Will Postma is the Executive Director of PWRDF
I so look forward to Christmas. Rest. Finishing up a few home projects. Finishing up those half-read books. Attending the service of Nine Lessons and Carols (with fond memories of organizing this while living in Bangladesh many years ago). Watching Charlie Brown and the Grinch with the kids (albeit now both over 20!). Dusting off those family games… Scrabble, Apples to Apples and a card game (7-up) that somehow passed through my family. I don’t know anyone else who plays such a game (with Rook cards, building up and down from the 7-card until the first person has gotten rid of her cards). Listening to the Messiah, many times, always amazed how George Frideric Handel composed this inspiring music in just 24 days using words from Scripture to guide him on. And reading and rejoicing in Luke 2:10, never old, always bold, that the coming of Jesus is good news, of great joy, for all people.
Christmas is about joy, about beginnings and newness. Jesus’ birth as told in the beginning of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke – how beautifully they tell the story of a humble birth, the shepherd and the Magi in awe, the songs of Mary and Zechariah, a refugee family fleeing to and seeking safety in Egypt, of prophecy fulfilled.
Coming in the last few days of the last month of the year, Christmas also compels us to look back. In 2017, PWRDF responded to a double-digit number of emergencies — hurricane after hurricane, drought, conflict, mudslide, flood. There was also a heavy realization that the world, with all of its technological advances, is still seeing so many at risk of falling farther and farther behind. Yet amidst the chaos, babies were being born and people were growing food and feeding their families through our development programs in maternal and newborn child health and food security. Communities from Africa to Northern Ontario are getting improved access to clean water. The work continues.
May this Christmas be a time of wonder and gratitude, of prayer for those who are hurting and vulnerable and for us too, for all that we can offer, inspired by Jesus’ birth and the Gospel message of justice and peace for all. May the Christmas story of joy never cease to amaze, comfort and inspire.