By Reverend Berlin Guerrero from Dandenong Uniting Church
Christmas is coming around again but this time in a pandemic.
The Covid-19 virus is still beyond total control as new clusters of infection are sprouting in other parts of the country.
Second and third waves of are raging in other parts of the world.
This places our traditional way of celebrating Christmas hanging in the balance.
It leaves us wondering how this Season of Hope can truly be a source of inspiration and strength as we go forward as a multicultural community into a post-COVID or so-called COVID-normal future.
Christmas, for Christians, is the belief that God came in the form of a human being through Jesus the Christ.
God knew that something was not going right in how humankind, given its free will, was conducting themselves in accordance to God’s law of love and justice.
The Divine had to intervene into human affairs by becoming a human person capable of feeling and experiencing human sufferings.
This was the only way to journey with them in the path towards redemption and reconciliation with God and with each other.
Hope came into the world through the God ‘en-fleshed’ (Incarnation) and the God with us (Emmanuel) thus there is hope for human change, social transformation and reconciliation.
This same hope is in operation in the human situation we are in and God is showing us the way.
Many say that the pandemic and other disasters and afflictions that have come and gone, demonstrates the good in humankind.
There’s the courage of our front liners, the dedication of vaccine researchers, the patience and discipline of the ordinary citizens, the determined leadership of those in government – and in countless ways of ‘damayan’ or the individual and collective compassionate action of members of our society.
Humankind, as God’s co-maker of history, has to learn to survive not at the expense of others but for the well-being of those who are weak and marginalised.
Placing the need of the temporary migrant workers, international students, and vulnerable sectors of society in government and community responses teach us that we should be there for each other.
Perhaps this is the Message of Hope that has in-dwelled in us whom we can draw inspiration from as we move forward.
With this hope, can we also re-imagine a new and better world we can build and sustain together?