Mark Clairmont | MuskokaTODAY.com
Christmas messages are lore.
From Matthew and Luke’s New Testament accounts, to Christmas cards that once filled mailboxes — and today’s e-greetings — they are personal if not always profane.
They’re like editorials, which take stock, reflect and ponder the implications of how life is lived.
Two that I like are from the Queen and the Pope.
The church leaders proffered yesterday similar messages of hope in another “bumpy” year — though not quite the “annus horribilis” Elizabeth expressed in her 1992 address.
A debateable point, the latter.
Both spoke of peace and unity.
The remarkably spry and composed 93-year-old British monarch — head of the Church of England — used her annual sit-down by promoting “reconciliation” through a skilfully-crafted speech launched with the 50th anniversary of the first moon walk that landed with the 75th celebration of the D-Day invasion.
Neil Armstrong’s “one small step for man” typified, she said, the progress that was further made in June when leaders of Second World War foes shook hands burying deeper the hatchet.
Witness freedom and democracy at work; an example of goowill toward men and women intent on making peace, not more war.
She said not always is it the giant steps, but the lesser of those equals that can make a difference in the long run.
And reaching out is the first step in a right direction of dialogue and uniting together for one and all.
A reminder of the possible, she said, referring to “harmony and understanding” of the journeys of Jesus.
Francis, in his seventh “Urbi et Orbi” (“To the City and the World”) Christmas Day message was more outspoken and pastoral.
Preaching from St. Peter’s pulpit to his Catholic faithful, he cast down upon those who are building the “walls of indifference” encircling the globe, citing Syrians and other immigrants fleeing for their lives.
He compared their plight to Mary and Joseph casting about for humble lodgings for their fledgling family.
“May (God) soften our often stony and self-centred hearts, and make them channels of His love. May He bring His smile, through our poor faces, to all the children of the world: to those who are abandoned and those who suffer violence,” he said.
Both not so subtle verbal backhands aimed at those who cage children and bar immigration.
The Queen brought up climate change, the Pope in a rare joint message with two other Western church leaders appealed for peace in South Sudan.
Two plaintive voices whispering into the headwinds of modern plastic change hoping their messages echo and reverberate to bring hope, peace on earth and a better life.
Lofty goals and voices of reason from leaders who have their own representative challenges in which they can lead by example.
But ones worthy of all Christians, faiths and non-believers alike pausing to reflect on and contemplate individually and universally at any time, most of all during the holidays.
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