Chelsea Van Der Poel explores how regardless the season, God's goodness creates a hopeful new day.
On the seventh day of Advent, 2021, Aunty Dr Anne Pattel-Gray reflects on the hope found in the Creator Spirit walking alongside us each and everyday.
The word becoming flesh
Do not fear, O soil;
be glad and rejoice,
for the Lord has done great things!
Do not fear, you animals of the field,
for the pastures of the wilderness are green;
the tree bears its fruit,
the fig tree and vine give their full yield.
Joel 2:21-22 NRSV
Each year at Christmas my mind wanders to the birth of Jesus and the significance of the Son of God being born and what this means for all Christians and not just Australia First Nations peoples.
When I think about the birth of Jesus, my mind can’t help but reflect on the notion of the ‘Word becoming flesh’ through the birth of Jesus.
In John 1:13-14, ‘…who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory; glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.’
Just thinking about the ‘Word becoming flesh’ through the birth of Jesus is such a powerful imagery of the Creator Spirit’s ‘Word’ living and dwelling amongst us. This makes me feel comforted, strengthened and spirituality rich to think our Creator Spirit walks alongside us and is with us each and every day of our lives. What a powerful concept to cherish.
I am deeply moved by this knowledge as Christmas is, to me, a reminder of the ‘Word’ of the Creator Spirit living in us and amongst us - it is not some distant memory where the Word is out of our reach, up in the sky, or a place called heaven. The Word is here with me, in me, and works through me, as we have a living faith and Spirituality that resides in my spirit, my land, my culture and my people.
This concept fills me with great hope and joy as it reminds me that Jesus Christ walks with me. My people are comforted by the fact that the Creator’s Spirit has and still dwells with us and we are nurtured and strengthened by the Creator Spirit.
Christmas is an opportunity for rebirth and formation of new life both physically and spiritually. There are many who feel alone at this time of the year but it should be when you feel the Creator Spirit more. You are never alone as our Creator Spirit is with us guiding, comforting, filling us with grateful hearts. Always remember this is the time of the year that we should give thanks for the blessings the Creator Spirit has given and remember that there is always someone with greater needs than your own. This Advent, consider what can we do to share the love of our Creator Spirit with those in need and to bring blessing.
May the Creator bless you and your family and keep you safe during the holiday season.
Aunty Dr. Anne Pattel-Gray is a descendant of the Bidjara Nation in Queensland and is a nationally and internationally recognised Aboriginal leader with over 30 years experience in senior management as a CEO in the NGO Sector. Dr Pattel-Gray is the Head of Australia First Nations Program of World Vision Australia. Dr Pattel-Gray was awarded her Ph.D. in 1995 in the Studies of Religion from the University of Sydney and was awarded a Doctor of Divinity in 1997. Dr Pattel-Gray is a trailblazer and has opened many doors for her people. She is a recognised scholar, theologian, activist, campaigner, and prolific writer with several publications. Aunty Dr Anne Pattel-Gray is deeply committed to the advancement of Australia First Nations peoples and to Reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians.
Help us to walk softly and gently on the soil, the land, on Country.
Help us to connect with and protect all of creation, the animals and the trees.
Help us to see and meet the needs of those with greater needs than our own.
Help us to allow our hearts to be moved to love as you love.
Photograph: Tim Everist, Sunset, Yugambeh Country, Kombumerri, Burleigh Heads, Queensland
Visual Description: The ocean is washing up against the rocks in the foreground, underneath a gold and purple sunset.