Religious faith has had pretty bad press this year, especially in light of such violent extremes in places like Iraq and Syria. It's hardly surprising that so many people look on with bemusement or distain whenever issues of faith crop up in conversation. To be honest, I often carry such feelings too. I saw one person comment on Facebook this week, "Why don't religious extremists practice extreme peace?" It's a very good question.
Yet in spite of all this, perhaps at times because of it, I for one am grateful to God for sending Jesus Christ into this world. Jesus brought a message and a lifestyle that spoke loudly of an extreme peace, an extreme love, that are well beyond any human-religious system or rational ability to comprehend. As we watch the news this Christmas with all its reports of violence and pain, I wish you the peace and hope of God, of Jesus.