Message from Trevor - Christmas
From all of us at McKillop, we want to offer you many Christmas blessings and our best wishes for a happy New Year. It is so hard to believe that another year has gone by and Sunday is Christmas Eve. I am deeply grateful for another year of our ministry together and the courage to seek new ways of being in community and church together. I am grateful for the vibrancy and generosity of McKillop. We are truly learning how to love fiercely as a community. Things are changing, but I feel we are trying to do it with grace, curiosity, and compassion.
So much is happening in our personal lives and in the world overall too. We are working as a society to figure out how to live beyond the pandemic emergency. Covid-19 is here to stay. Inflation, shrinkflation, personal struggles, raising families, growing older, working with grief, illness, and mental health struggles to name a few. In Alberta, we have more people using foodbanks with 1/5 persons having food insecurity. Children are 37% of the users of foodbanks in our province according to the HungerCount report. We have less access to timely and reliable healthcare too. And around 34% of folks in Alberta spend more than 30% of their income on housing.
The UN and scientists are pleading with us to face climate change head on and make real changes. Violence against the Queer community is on the rise in Canada and the world, as well as racism, islamophobia, and antisemitism. Add on top, the violent and soul destroying conflicts in over 45 countries at the moment killing thousands of civilians in places such as Gaza, Ukraine, and Sudan to name a few.
For some reason, I always hold the suffering of our lives and the world as Christmas arrives. I am hoping that this year, maybe we will find Christmas; we will find the essential living truth of Christmas and it will change us to be beacons of healing and light and love to all the suffering. Isn't this the wisdom and gift of the story of Jesus, including the birth narratives? I don't believe we are invited to look backwards to the past and worship the past. Instead, there is a kernel of liberating wisdom in Christmas that wants to be a spark in our life and in our life as McKillop. For me, this spark is liberating love that wants to flow through our lives both personally and in community.
And what does love do? It changes ourselves and the way we live our lives so everybody and everything can flourish in health, in joy, in abundance, in creativity, and in a dance and song of universal peace while still being unique and different but united as one. Love will invite us to love ourselves fully and wildly no matter what we think about ourselves or what we have done. Love will transform institutions. Love will change the systems that cause hunger and poverty.
Love will tackle climate change and make sacrifices so every plant and animal and ecosystem can flourish. Love will say 'no' to hate and violence and invite us to say 'yes' to fierce love. This is not pie in the sky I am talking about. This is a real energy of life happening right now as you read this. Love is the story of Christmas and Jesus inviting us to find the simplicity and gratitude of this precious life we all have.
I hope we all find slivers of this amazing energy of Love over the Christmas break and bring it into the New Year. For we are all needed to be conduits of this love and to embrace where Love may take us on the journey.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!