The remote tribal communities of the Western Desert had it on their hearts to celebrate Christmas on the first weekend of December. They believe this month is the open door to forgiveness… The time when we remember that God loved the world so much that He gave His most precious gift to break the curse of death and payback. Payback is when you choose to live in hatred and unforgiveness towards those who have hurt you in the past. For Aboriginal peoples this age old curse has been passed on from generation to generation, causing people to live in fear and bitterness. It is only broken when the blood of your enemy has been shed on the ground… which then reignites retaliation and the curse goes on.
When the Gospel of Jesus Christ first came to the ancient, nomadic peoples of the desert country his story changed everything. This man who came from God, the creator of all things lived a sinless life and was persecuted, despised and betrayed. He was beaten and hung on a criminal’s cross and took the spear of ‘payback’ in his side. He said "it is finished” as He forgave his enemies…. as His own blood was shed on the ground. He died and was buried and then God raised him up from the ground. He broke that curse forever and asks us to live by His new law of love and grace. He sent His Holy Spirit to help us.
So for three days and nights the people gathered and sang songs, shared stories and read from the Bible. The meetings went till after midnight and nobody cared. They were celebrating the coming of forgiveness. Thank you Jesus.
I greatly admire my Indigenous brothers and sisters. They know that the only answer is in the one who is able to keep you from falling. I see the joy in their faces despite the hardships of life in a complex modern world.
Merry Christmas to you all.