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Day 22 – Christmas with the neighbours: New Zealand

By Kiran Rai

Kiran Rai works in the Tearfund Action team, based in Teddington, UK.

Approximately 1-minute read

‘Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.’ (Matthew 11:29 – The Message translation)

In my homeland of New Zealand, Christmas goes with hot weather, barbecues and melting ice cream. Growing up, I remember being quite confused by the snowy Christmas scenes in movies from overseas – that never felt right to me!

One of my favourite family traditions happened in the afternoon. After all the activity of going to our church’s Christmas service, giving gifts to each other, and feasting on a bigger-than-necessary lunch, we would head out to a local beach or park and take a slow, meandering stroll. It may not sound that exciting, but to me it was a precious moment to relax with my family, with no tasks to complete and nowhere else to be. Surrounded by the beauty of creation in summer glory, we’d chat and reflect on God’s goodness, made clear in the gift of Jesus to us all.

Now that I live in the UK, Christmas Day looks quite different for us, with video calls playing a much bigger part than any of us would truly want. Still, I look forward to finding those peace-filled moments with Jesus in his creation, celebrating the abundant, freeing love he shows to all of us.

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