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Christmas message: An important question to answer

Tuesday December 24, 2019 Written by Published in Church Talk
The Christmas nativity scene, “a domestic Gospel” on display at the St Joseph’s Cathedral at Avarua is admired by Sio Hafoka (left) Parakoti Jessie, Ithiel Hafoka and Tupuna Hafoka. A baby Jesus character will be blessed at the special Christmas service tonight and placed in the crib. 19122323. The Christmas nativity scene, “a domestic Gospel” on display at the St Joseph’s Cathedral at Avarua is admired by Sio Hafoka (left) Parakoti Jessie, Ithiel Hafoka and Tupuna Hafoka. A baby Jesus character will be blessed at the special Christmas service tonight and placed in the crib. 19122323.

A question worth attempting to answer as we celebrate Christmas is, “Who is Jesus for me?” Jesus himself once questioned his own friends on who people thought he was, before challenging his own disciples: “What about you? Who do you say I am?” (Mark 8:29)

 

Every Christmas, in Scripture readings, prayers and traditional carols, we are reminded of the great Christmas  mystery, that God himself took flesh and was born amongst us at Bethlehem. The meaning of Christmas is supposed to be the recognition and appreciation of the birth of the one who loves us and died for us.

I am confident that every church in the Cook Islands will celebrate Christmas well according to their own tradition. The message of Christmas will not be forgotten. However there is another side to Christmas which has its place too, and that is that it’s a  time to be together, have family gatherings  and appreciate one another.   There is also  the  buying of presents, work parties, and holidaying.

Sadly, I also have a precautionary  message: please take heed of the warnings issued by the police about alcohol and drugs. It seems we are reaching the stage of playing Russian roulette when riding bikes at night. None of us want to see another victim buried. Celebrate moderately, not excessively.

On behalf of the Religious Advisory Council I wish every Cook Islander and visitor to the country a joyful Christmas.  

“For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; Authority rests upon his shoulders;

And he is named Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father Prince of peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

Bishop Paul Donoghue, Chairman - Religious Advisory Council.

Church service times.

Catholic Church mass times for Christmas and New Year. St Joseph’s Cathedral Avarua: Christmas Eve December 24th  8pm, Christmas day December 25th 10am (One Mass), December 31st 8pm, New Year’s Day January 1st 2020 9am. St Paul’s Parish Titikaveka: Christmas Eve December 24th 6pm, Christmas day December 25th 10.30am (service only), December 31st 6.30pm. Sacred Hearts Parish Matavera: Christmas Eve December 24th 8pm, Christmas day 8am, New Year’s Day January 1st 8am. St Mary’s Parish Arorangi: Times yet to be confirmed.

Cook Islands Christian Church festive season service times on Rarotonga: Christmas Eve11.30pm, Christmas Day 10am; New Year’s Eve 11.30pm, New Year’s Day 10am.

Pure Epetoma/Week-long Service -  Daily January 5th to 12th (no service on Saturday 11th).  Note the service times for each church/Ekalesia will differ, some Ekalesia.

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