In 1957, Her Majesty, the late Queen Elizabeth II shared her Christmas message. In it she reflected on the current state of the world:
“Today we need a special kind of courage, not the kind needed in battle but a kind which makes us stand up for everything that we know is right, everything that is true and honest. We need the kind of courage that can withstand the subtle corruption of the cynics so that we can show the world that we are not afraid of the future.”
I believe we find ourselves in a similar place today.
This past year was extraordinarily difficult for many Canadians. With inflation driving up the cost of living, rising interest rates, fears of a global recession, and an increasingly unstable geo-political environment, many Canadians are feeling uncertain and fearful. In the face of these very real and difficult challenges it is easy to lose sight of what matters most.
Despite the darkness that lingers, Christmas gives us the opportunity to pause, reflect, and find inner peace and hope. Though not everyone celebrates Christmas, for many, this is a time to commemorate the coming of Jesus, who is the light of the world and the embodiment of love. It has been said that Jesus is the hope of the world.
As the Member of Parliament for Lethbridge I see the spirit of Christmas at work among us. I am tremendously proud of the kindness and generosity demonstrated by those who call this region home.
Each year, tens-of-thousands of volunteers selflessly give of their time, talent, and money to demonstrate love and impart hope through a variety of means. These individuals often work in partnership with one of the many not-for-profit organizations or faith groups that are doing a remarkable job serving our community.
Whether it its visiting seniors who are shut in, providing food hampers to families in need of a helping hand, serving a hot meal to those who wouldn’t otherwise have one, giving warm winter coats to those who would otherwise be overwhelmed by the cold, showing love and compassion to those fighting the darkness of addiction, or donating financially to a charity of choice, our community is generously stepping up and compassionately stepping out to make a positive difference.
There is an opportunity for all of us to embody the spirit of Christmas and “stand up for everything that we know is right, everything that is true and honest” by being kind toward others and generous with our resources.
This season is about hope. Hope for one another, hope for our country, hope for our future, and most of all, the hope that was sent to the world through the birth of Jesus.
As Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II once said, “It has always been easy to hate and destroy. To build and to cherish is much more difficult.”
No matter how much darkness fills the room, if a candle is lit, its light can be seen. In the same way, I see the light shining in and through so many of you. Despite the many challenges of today, the selfless courage of Canadians produces hope for tomorrow.
I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year!