Queensland churches give Christmas messages

Queensland’s church leaders have focused on peace, joy and the celebration of life in their annual Christmas messages. Anglican Archbishop Phillip Aspinall said the idea of hospitality, or welcome, was central to the Christian faith – especially at Christmas.

“Christmas is an act of radical and generous hospitality on God’s behalf. In Christ, God comes to be with us, face to face. To be born with us, to live with us, to eat with us, to share our struggles with us – to be one of us,” he said.

It was essential that welcome was offered to those on the fringe of society and to people who are different.

“Christmas is the perfect time to celebrate God’s generous hospitality and to practise it with others – to be good hosts and guests, to be generous in our thinking and our actions towards those around us.”

Brisbane’s Catholic Archbishop Mark Coleridge said Christmas was about the “gift of life”.

“Because whatever about the shadow and the smell of death, the fact is we celebrate life, as gift, as blessing and not curse, and we celebrate life as the blessing and the gift of God because all human life – in fact all life, speaks of God,” the archbishop said.

“Life, not death, has the last word.

“May the hope of Christmas touch every heart, so that the birth of the child will really be the ‘joy for all the people’ promised by the angle of life.”

Queensland Uniting Church Reverend David Baker admits 2018 has been a challenging year when “trust in the leadership” of many institutions has been eroded.

“So, this Christmas, I encourage you to rediscover the wonder. In a world torn apart by conflict and beset by challenges, where it feels as though we wait for God in the wilderness, the wonder of the Christmas story disrupts the status quo,” the reverend said.

“Our thoughts are also with those for whom Christmas brings difficulty and challenge, particularly those in drought-stricken parts of the state.”