KAIROS’ Christmas Message from Leah Reesor-Keller
This past fall, KAIROS’ partner in the West Bank gave us a gift that I keep thinking about. It’s a handcrafted nativity scene from Bethlehem with a wall running through its centre. Wi’am: Palestine Conflict Transformation Centre presented KAIROS with this gift at my first KAIROS event as the new interim executive director. I think about this gifted nativity scene all the time in these past months as violence has escalated and taken an unconscionable toll on civilians that are victims of Hamas attacks, and ongoing bombardment and military attacks on Gaza.
This year, heads of churches in Jerusalem have called for a subdued Christmas, in solidarity and in mourning with victims of violence and warfare in the region, with all those who are sitting in the shadow of death. This year, there will be no Christmas festivities in Bethlehem, no lights in Manger Square. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bethlehem set up a nativity scene in which the baby Jesus rests on pile of rubble, demonstrating solidarity with the people of Gaza and reminding us all that God stands with the oppressed and downtrodden of the world, with all who are victims of war and violence regardless of faith or nationality.
Echoing the words of Zechariah from Luke 1:78-79, this Christmas I pray that God will guide us all in the way of peace, peace that is infused with justice and love. As the KAIROS movement together, made up of many individuals, congregations, denominations, agencies and partnerships, I pray that we can continue to act in hope, praying for peace with justice to break out like the dawn. Your donations, letters to government officials, and support for events and learning are all steps on this journey, small acts of hope that build up a movement.
I invite you to make a Christmas gift today to further our shared work for human rights and ecological justice. From our journey towards reconciliation here on Turtle Island with the KAIROS Blanket Exercise, to the journey towards a liveable future for all with ecological justice programming and advocacy related to COP 28, to supporting grassroots women peacebuilders globally, to advocating for the wellbeing of migrant neighbours in our own communities here in Canada, may God guide our feet in the way of peace.
Interim Executive Director