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Advent Reflections from our National Director (pt.2)

Auckland ‘liberated’ after 120 days. But am I ready for Christmas?

Among the frenzy of shopping, dining, and travelling, social distancing, quarantine and vaccine remains very much part of our norm. John Campbell in Anger, Anxiety & Us on A 1News Special asked, “Why are we angry and why do we turn to abuse when angry?” How do I celebrate Christmas with this mind frame when it is supposed to be about love & giving?

Jesus is the only one I know who chose to be born. He came to this world. “Jesus emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” Php 2:7

Do I really understand this ‘spirit of giving’?

I write & say the same ‘nice’ Christmas greeting and hope to cheer up my loved ones. It was a surprise when I read about John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus, being asked “What shall we do?” (Lk 3:10-14) instead of “What do you want us to say?” John further surprised me by not giving religious rhetoric but practical social and economic responses.

To the one with two tunics (that includes you and me): Be generous, show compassion.

To civil servants, tradies and businesspeople: Be honest, no corruption.

To soldiers and those in authorities: Be just, be content, no abuse of power, no slandering.

John’s answer is personal.

So, “What should we do?”

The vaccine and its mandate could derail our hope for a peaceful summer and unfortunately Christian institutions are embroiled in the divide.

So, I asked the Lord, “What should I do?”

The reply: “Would the Holy Spirit say you are committed to Christianity or to Jesus Christ?”

So, I look at Jesus.

He was despised, rejected, unjustly condemned & beaten. But He gave, loved, embraced without deceit, and took the punishment to make me whole.

Will this Christmas be different for me?

Yes, it is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas,

Allen Tie

National Director, ISMNZ

17 Dec 2021

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