A subdued spirit has dampened what is normally a festive time of year in Sydney after the traumatic siege that took the life of three people. However, Sydney pastor and speaker Karl Faase has urged Christians to reflect on our deep need for God this Christmas.
Audio – Karl Faase offers words of comfort to Sydney this Christmas
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Karl Faase says both the Sydney siege and the sudden death of cricketer Phillip Hughes have reminded Australians of the fragility of life.
“You go out to play a sport you love at the SCG and life finishes. You go to buy a coffee, the place you go to all the time in a safe and beautiful city and then you’re stuck in a siege. It’s all so close. It reminds us that we can’t control life.’
Karl Faase also urged Australian Christians to recognize that the siege was the result of ‘one disturbed individual using religion as a cover for his pathology’.
“In some way today we need to stand in solidarity with those of different faiths who say, ‘We don’t stand for that, we don’t believe in that, that does not represent our world view’. We may disagree with where they stand about particular issues to do with God and theology and the person of Jesus, but we stand with them because they are Australians who are committed to our nation, committed to peace, committed to the community and they should not in any way be targeted out of an event like yesterday.’
Karl Faase told Hope Mornings that this event reflects the reality of our broken world; that Christmas is not just about lights and presents and joy. ‘It’s a reminder that Christmas actually exists because we need an encounter with God, with the Divine. We can’t help ourselves. We can’t ‘save’, if I can use that word, ourselves. We need God.’
‘Jesus has reached out to us. We have a desperate need to reach out to God, but we actually serve a God that reached into humanity and that’s what Christmas is about.’
‘It’s great to have presents. It’s going to be wonderful to have Christmas lunch and get together with people and celebrate, but in the end what we are celebrating is that God reached into a broken world to help us in our pain.”