In the GMP world, this past month has featured official and personal farewells to both John Gilmore and Val Zerna, names that have been synonymous with the work of GMP for many years. It has also featured the resumption of the normalcy of our international and domestic travel, the launch of Great Gifts and the COCOA Christmas Offering and the usual ‘busyness’ that accompanies the close of the calendar year.
The ‘external’ world, too, feels like it is spinning ever faster. The intermittent COVID-19 waves, the ongoing, destructive war in the Ukraine and the threat of climate change can rob us of peace and our sense of understanding the world we live in. That doesn’t even touch on the vagaries of our internal life.
It is easy to be distracted.
It is also important to stop for a moment as we approach the Christmas season, with its celebrations, meals and paradoxical invitations to hecticness and leisure. To take a moment to centre ourselves.
At the centre of Christmas – and of our theology and practice as Churches of Christ – is Jesus.
The Prince of Peace.
Emmanuel – God with us.
Lamb of God.
King of Kings.
I don’t know what you need to call Jesus as we approach the celebration of his birth – but can I encourage you to take the time to slow, to deliberately be aware of what is going on for you and to reflect on how attuning ourselves to the presence of Jesus can help and empower us to reflect him in a way that outstrips tinsel.
From all of us at GMP, have a wonderful Christmas with those whom you love.
GMP Deputy Executive Officer and ICP Director