OPINION: Don't pack away compassion with Christmas
AND Christmas is finished.
Soon we will be recovering from the celebrations and it will be time to pack up.
As we pack away the nativity scenes I wonder; and I am sorry if my wonderings seem dark, but the Christmas story is a story of love and hope in a dark place.
As we pack away the magi, I wonder how many people there are out there with deep wisdom and insight to share, who are ignored because they look different to us.
How many insights might be gleaned from traditions and cultures that we do not share, that we ignore, because of our own prejudice?
As we pack away the shepherds and the sheep, I wonder how many of us have both a romanticised picture of rural living, and would never want a job like that.
I wonder how many times we have dismissed a person because they have a role in society we rely on, but would never want.
As we pack away Mary, I wonder what happens to all the young mothers, who are seen as being less; because they became mothers at a time when "proper" society did not deem it appropriate.
As we pack away Joseph I wonder about all the fathers who make hard decisions to protect their children, who struggle with the reality that their family must become homeless, not because of anything "wrong" they have done, but because it suits political and economic structures to take everything from them.
As we pack away the infant, I wonder about those children born into poverty and social disruption, born into economic systems that advantage the rich and disadvantage the poor, and I wonder how we built a so-called Christian society that divorces its actions from its ethics.
Reverend Andrew Schmidt is the priest at Good Shepherd Anglican Church