A few nights ago, I went to a local carol service held for all the businesses in the town. It was open to all, no matter what faith and it had a simple message that had been planned weeks in advance. The message was that everybody was to have a Christmas miracle if they wished for one. This came just days after the shooting in Australia and just hours after the Taliban shot 84 children. We said prayers dedicated to the victims, their families and their friends. Members of the public spoke of past Christmas' and read passages from the Christmas Story. But one person in particular caught my attention...
A man, who instead of talking about memories, spoke about the future. A future without violence, anger and hurt, but a future with love, friendship and peace. He was only talking for a few minutes but he words were so powerful and moving and his message so clear, he had most of his listeners trying to hold back the tears.
His message was simple ... to treat others how you want to be treated. To be calm and not get angry, as anger only builds until it explodes. You spoke of you as a person changing yourself so that you stay calm, even if you feel mad. Then if each person tries to stay calm individually, eventually everyone will be calm.
So this is my Christmas wish, that not just over the festivities but through the coming year and the many more to follow, that we each try to be a little calmer, a little nicer, in situations we might not have been previously. Which in time may be an end to the war, destruction and suffering that are continuing each day.
This Christmas, remember those, near and far, that are in conflict zones or who are threatened with violence or hurt and think to yourself, surely one day spent with family you might not see eye to eye with isn't much to bare compared to other peoples troubles.