It has often struck me as very unfair that our Northern Hemisphere friends get to enjoy a long summer break, and then another holiday bang smack in the middle of winter which includes Christmas. It’s no wonder there’s a tendency ‘down under’ for succumbing to bouts of seasonal depression—it’s a very long year when all the best bits are combined at one end!
It makes sense then that some among us would take the opportunity to pause and celebrate a mid-winter Christmas. Miramar Corps has taken advantage of this invitation and you can read about their experience on page 17.
Our usual Southern Hemisphere summer celebrations also mean we miss the significance of celebrating the birth of Christ in mid-winter—the Light coming out of the darkness. Given that throughout mid-winter we’re often moving at a slower, more reflective pace, eager to hunker down and rest like bulbs until spring and warmer weather arrives, the call of a July Christ may prove to be a little more accessible for many of us.
As Salvationists, Christmas in December can often be a busy time of serving our communities and preparing for special church events—all good things. But perhaps there’s something to be gained in considering Jesus’ arrival to earth in the middle of a Northern Hemisphere winter? Viewed through the lens of winter chill, the Christmas story is reborn—who knows what we might see for the first time if we pause to look.
Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; You will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
Ka hangā anō e ōu uri ngā wāhi kua ururuatia noatia ake; ka ara anō i a koe ngā tūranga o ngā whakapaparanga maha; ā ka huaina koe, Ko te kaihanga o te taiepa pakaru, Ko te kaiwhakahou o ngā wāhi i ngā ara hei nohoanga.