Who would have thought that when the early missionaries first brought the gospel to the Aboriginal people of Central Australia that Christmas would become the most popular of all the great Christian festivals?
The natural seasons and white-skinned people in the northern European version of Christmas story are so different.
The Middle-Eastern animals involved in the Biblical story are foreign, and the theology of Christmas is rather unlike traditional Aboriginal religion, in which the ancestor spirits in the sky are quite remote from the everyday life of the people.
But, then again, perhaps this is exactly why Christmas was so popular, because it was new and different.
God becomes a human being through Jesus of Nazareth, to get involved with his suffering and wayward creation and create something new. New life through baptism into Christ’s death and resurrection, new faith through the Holy Spirit, and new hope that our Father in heaven wants his kingdom to come and his will to be done.