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Christmas reflection: The perfect present

MANY of us expend vast amounts of energy, time and money at Christmas finding the perfect present for the people we love.

What might the perfect present be for some groups of people in Ireland this Christmas?

For the homeless, the right to a home enshrined in the constitution; for prisoners, an assurance that the 90 per cent reoffending rate would become a 90 per cent non-reoffending rate; for the rich, the gift of delight as they generously share their wealth.

For refugees, a warm welcome free from racism, sectarianism and oppressive bureaucracy; for politicians, the vision to see the good that can be done for all people, not just the few; and for the Churches, the joy of seeing people experiencing the glory, grace and goodness of God.

The perfect gift that God gave the world was the gift of himself.

And as he is accepted, trusted, loved, served and obeyed individual lives are changed for the better, as are families, communities and countries.

I pray Ireland will have a peaceful, holy Christmas and a happier New Year.

Rev T.H. Samuel McGuffin

President, Methodist Church in Ireland

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