Christmas Message, 2009
Most Revd Geoffrey Jarrett, Bishop of Lismore
The news and media in recent months have been dominated by the debate on climate change, driven by evidence put forward by science experts that unless we all act to save the planet from the effects of global warming the wellbeing of future generations will be in jeopardy. All the news from Copenhagen suggests that a consensus on what to do and how to pay for it is somewhat elusive.
There’s nothing like a common fear to spur human beings into acting before it’s too late. Passions can be stirred and policies devised that appear like secular parallels to religious beliefs and dogmas, but turning out to depend more on blind faith than balanced with cool reason. History is scattered with these reactions from the disastrous to the laughable.
Faith and reason balance in beautiful harmony in the Judaeo-Christian revelation. We can’t save ourselves, even our material environment, even if all the wisest human beings using all the wealth and resources of the world devoted themselves for lifetimes to the project. Rescue must come from outside from a higher power, not material, but spiritual.
That’s what is at the heart of Christmas. The name ‘Jesus” means “God saves.” When we get the perspective right, respecting the laws laid down by God in nature, the nations will have a common platform on which to unite in a genuine effort to be good stewards of what the Creator has entrusted to us, and ensure that future generations can benefit from the wise provision of God for humanity.
In that hope expressed by Pope Benedict and shared by the Catholic Bishops of Australia, I wish peace and happiness and God’s blessing on all in our North Coast community this Christmas.