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Shining the light of Jesus at Christmas - a message from The Salvation Army leaders


There is something special about looking at Christmas lights. There is so much joy found in walking around the local streets on a summer evening, driving to nearby suburbs to look at popular houses, or visiting the city to explore the decorations.

The lights add a warm glow to the darkness, and they warm our hearts. Children smile and squeal at the sight of twinkling reindeer or sparkling trees. Adults of all ages delight in the spectacle – and hard effort – some people put into their home light displays. And even a small Christmas candle at a carol service creates a calm and beautiful atmosphere.

When light shines into the darkness, it brings joy and peace.

One thing we like about Christmas light displays is the reminder they bring us of Jesus, who is the Light of the World. When Jesus was born – an event we celebrate at Christmas – he shone into the darkness, bringing joy and peace.

The world into which Jesus was born was a world of darkness – just as we have darkness in our world today. The ruler, King Herod the Great, was a brutal dictator. People were living in poverty. Disease was rampant. And today? There are still people suffering under unfair rulers, living in poverty and suffering from heartbreaking illnesses.

Jesus shone a bright light into all that darkness. And he still shines into it today.

Jesus is the Light of the World

At Christmas, we remember and celebrate the gift of Jesus as a baby to all of humanity. God loves people so much that he sent his one and only Son, Jesus, to Earth to walk alongside us and invite us into a relationship with him. Another of Jesus’ names is “Immanuel,” which literally means “God with us” (Matthew chapter 1, verse 23, NIV). God longs to be our friend. He wants to journey with us through life’s difficulties and give us a reason to hope.

Shortly before Jesus’ birth, a priest named Zechariah spoke this prophecy about Jesus: “God’s love and kindness will shine upon us like the sun that rises in the sky. On us who live in the dark shadow of death this light will shine to guide us into a life of peace” (Luke chapter 1, verses 78-79, CEV). Just as the sun can brighten up a cloudy day and give us joy – so can Jesus. The gift of Jesus – an act of love and kindness from God – was a sacrifice that enables us to be in a relationship with God and a way for us to discover true joy and everlasting peace.
See What is The Meaning of Easter?

As Jesus grew up and began his ministry of sharing the love of God, he reminded people of his purpose of shining God’s love, kindness and light to the world. Jesus said of himself, “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in darkness. They will have that light. They will have life” (John chapter 8, verse 12, NIRV).

Jesus is the Light of the World. The light of Jesus can shine into our darkness to give us peace and a joy-filled life.

Inspired to shine light into darkness

The Salvation Army is a Christian organisation. That means everything we say and do is motivated by the love of God and Jesus. We are committed to transforming Australia, one life at a time, so all people can experience a life of purpose and hope.

For over 140 years, Salvos have been coming alongside Australians with sacrificial acts of kindness and spreading the light of Jesus. We are so privileged – as the leaders of The Salvation Army Australia – to bear witness to the passion and dedication of our volunteers, employees and officers (ministers) as they show kindness to others.

Their acts of kindness bring warmth and light into the darkness of people’s lives – whether it’s a family experiencing homelessness, a woman escaping a violent partner, a young person battling an addiction, a parent struggling to put food on the table or someone needing a listening ear. We see Salvos every day shining the light of kindness, just as Jesus did for us.

We want to remind you that the Salvos are here for you this Christmas – and all the year through. If you are experiencing hardship or crisis, or just need someone to talk to or pray for you, we are here for you.

We encourage you to find your local Salvos church or program or submit a prayer request.
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We also want to encourage you to be the light of Christmas kindness for other people this year. One of the beautiful things about kindness is it doesn’t have to be extravagant to warm someone’s heart. It just has to be genuine. An act of kindness could be volunteering at your local Salvos, surprising a friend with a handmade Christmas gift, sharing a positive quote or Bible verse with someone, or phoning a family member you haven’t seen in a while.

As we end yet another turbulent year that has been filled with devastation, anxiety, confusion, loneliness and hardship, we pray for God’s blessing over you. This Christmas, from The Salvation Army to you, we pray God's peace will warm your heart, his kindness bless you and his joy fill your life.

Commissioners Janine and Robert Donaldson
Territorial Leaders, The Salvation Army Australia

The Salvation Army Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we meet and work and pay our respect to Elders past, present and future.

We value and include people of all cultures, languages, abilities, sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions and intersex status. We are committed to providing programs that are fully inclusive. We are committed to the safety and wellbeing of people of all ages, particularly children.

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The Salvation Army is an international movement. Our mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in his name with love and without discrimination.

salvationarmy.org.au

13 SALVOS (13 72 58)

Gifts of $2 or more to the social work of The Salvation Army in Australia are tax deductible.Details and ABNs

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