A Pause in this Festive Season

End-of-Year Message from the BUC President

A Pause in this Festive Season

BUC Communications

A video message from the BUC President

Season's greetings! I want to encourage you to celebrate this festive season, to invite you to down tools and pause to celebrate this extraordinary moment when much of our world is merrymaking. But I recognise that although we may wish to pause, it might be more complex than that! Or is it? Can you imagine what kind of difference 43,000 Adventists could make if we did something different this festive season?

We must sometimes adjust how we look at things to pause, interrupt our actions or speech briefly, or temporarily interrupt our operations. It is frustrating that, for too many, it is when we see the tragedy of the moment that we pause and think again, adjust our thinking, cease our aggression, and change our course of behaviour.   

Christmas Eve of 1914 found the soldiers of the British and German armies engaged in a muddy, gory, unforgiving war that you and I now refer to as World War One. The two armies were senselessly captured by the trenches they had dug. They were separated by a place called 'no man's land', the battlefield both sides regularly engaged in to win the upper hand. An extraordinary thing happened that night: messages were exchanged between the British and German armies to implement a temporary ceasefire, a pause if you please, on Christmas Day. After months of fighting in a war that no one expected to last so long, both sides were happy to forget that they were in a gruesome war that would change wars for all times.

They used Christmas Day of 1914 to pause the war, celebrate Christmas, drink, and even play football together. They picked up their dead, fixed their fences, and for a few moments, they did not let the diabolical terrain they were in fool them into believing they were no longer human.

If some soldiers on the front-line, facing death, can do that; indeed, we who are outside the gory tragedy of war can pause for a few moments and tend to someone else's needs.

Emerging from Covid-19, in shock over the struggle between Russia and Ukraine, thrust into the tragedy of Israel and Palestine and the countless disasters that are constantly changing our perspectives of this world, it might be hard to pause. It might be hard to pause when the cost of living contributes to making you homeless; it might be hard to pause when your home has become a battlefield; it is hard to pause when you are the only one cheering you to go on. You can get through this moment.

As Adventists, we can pause every week and celebrate the Sabbath. When we talk about a pause, we mean a pause that sees time for what it should be, a moment filled with opportunities to draw closer to God, our heavenly Father. But it must also mean that we will be mindful of people around us who are alone, facing their own tragedy, emotionally broken, and just needing somebody to help them navigate this difficult festive season.

How can we hit the pause button for ourselves, our family, people at church and in our community? What can you do to pause for a moment this festive season and help those hurting?

A video message from the BUC President

Eglan Brooks, British Union Conference President