We realised Christ had been all-but fully removed from CHRISTmas nationally, including on television, in print-media, Council decorations, shopfront windows, and even the inclusion of nativity-related lyrics in CHRISTmas carols in many shops and some public CHRISTmas carol gatherings. Our nation has a rich Christian heritage which has gifted us many of our most treasured values. It defines us all more than most are aware. We are incredibly blessed as a nation, and there is no reason to have to forget or be embarrassed by who we are or where we came from. So Hope Project Christmas is about returning nativity scenes to Christmas – to maintain a connection to our nation’s heritage and this amazing message of hope!
It’s nearly Christmas time and a boat is riding the waves towards the top of New Zealand. On board are Māori, Europeans, excitable horses and impatient cows. Step back into the early 1800s and find out how the first Christmas was celebrated in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Our invitation is that you be intentional about using nativity-based CHRISTmas themes in your areas of influence – as opposed to Santa, elves or jingle bells. This can be done in a number of simple ways:
Simply put, collaborate in the public square to remind your city of the Christ of CHRISTmas! We celebrate the church communities that already do this, and encourage others to do the same.
What could you do to bring profile and community spirit to CHRISTmas?
Be respectful to all cultures, but also be ready to support one another should any be harassed for observing our cultural traditions. Our goal is not to provoke discord, but to share with our community the Hope that we profess. We suggest the following collaborative projects — our only limits are our courage and creativity.