this is one of the best messages i heard all year, but it’s not in church… it’s a new zealand parliament speech, from a self confessed atheist, co-leader of the greens party!
Our Christmas holiday has its roots firmly in the Jewish and Christian traditions. It’s based on a pretty amazing story about the birth of Jesus Christ — “God in the flesh” as many Christians believe.
The story of the incarnation of God in a baby born in a stable is remarkable even to me, an atheist, because it’s a story about the distant God of the heavens coming down to live amongst us on earth.
It’s a story about that god decreeing that tyranny on earth and utopia in the afterlife is not acceptable and that freedom and equality must characterise life here on earth as well as the afterlife in heaven. It’s a story of the birth of new hope.
– Russel Norman
when i stumbled across this on christmas day, it was kinda surreal… had i woken up in an alternate universe? was i still asleep & dreaming?
if you think maybe this sort of thing happens in new zealand? no it doesn’t!… up til now that is. the times they are a changin’.
…The hopes and values Jesus Christ articulated during the course of his short life are too important to belong only to Christians. They belong to us all: believers and non-believers alike. They live within us. They are embedded in our culture. They are reflected in most of the world’s major religions.These are the values that help to lay down the essential nature of what it means to be human and guide us to live a ‘good’ life — good to ourselves, good to one another, and good to the world in which we make our livelihoods.
I identify with the Christianity that teaches love and compassion towards each other, especially the most vulnerable — the widows, the orphans, the sick, and those in prison. Those values inspired some of the world’s first hospitals, orphanages, universities, and reforms to the way we treat those who’ve broken the law.