Christmas at the Beach: Christmas in New Zealand, Part 2

by | May 4, 2017 | Christmas in New Zealand, God's Love, Light

December 25 falls towards the beginning of summer in New Zealand, due to their location in the Southern Hemisphere. No snow, or even any real need of hot chocolate awaits them! Instead many of the New Zealanders look forward to spending the day soaking up the sun at the beach. While we are in our homes, rubbing our cold hands in front of a toasty fire, our southerly neighbours lie on the beach celebrating Christmas!

After all, why stay inside if the weather is so pleasant? And so New Zealanders celebrate Christmas with a picnic or a barbecue. Most of them still enjoy the traditional turkey or baked ham, but there are others who prefer chicken or a leg of lamb. Still, roasted vegetables, including potatoes, pumpkin, kumara (a sweet kind of potato), peas and beans, are the standard.

There are two things that the entire world, whether north or south, usually have in common at Christmastime. The first is light: In the southern hemisphere most eat Christmas dinner outside in the presence of the sun, while in the northern hemisphere, Christmas dinner is eaten in the presence of bright artificial lights. The second is that all over the world people enjoy the company of family and friends at Christmastime.

Interestingly, these two things are both stressed as important in God’s Word.

Have you noticed that the Old Testament begins with the creation of light? “God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” (Gen 1:3 NIV) The New Testament also begins with the appearance of light in the darkness: “The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.” (John 1:9 NIV)

Christmas is all about light, isn’t it? In the Northern hemisphere we decorate our houses with lights, both inside and out, and many even add flamboyant decorations of light in their front yard! Have we ever taken the time to wonder why?

In the southern hemisphere these artificial light decorations are unnecessary, as the sun goes down too late for anyone to even notice them.

Christmas is also about love. Love for the One who came to save us, but also love for one another. “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35 NIV)

Without these two essential ingredients, Christmas in either hemisphere would not be Christmas!

I have to wonder however, if our rush to buy numerous presents even fits the occasion. Are we even thinking about that Light that was born in Bethlehem 2000 years ago? Are we even purchasing these presents out of love? Or is it out of duty? How many of these gifts end up being thrown out within a year?

Maybe if we began letting light shine with real divine love, Christmas would start to make an impact on the world. Presents are nice, but they are insignificant compared to the caring love most of us hunger for.

May we take the time to let our hearts soak up the Light of this world. May we take the time to get to know the Lover of our souls. Christmas will never be the same if we do.

I wish you a merry Christmas filled with the light of pure divine love.

Rob Chaffart

(To access the entire “Christmas in New Zealand” devotional series, please click here.)


Christmas at the Beach: Christmas in New Zealand, Part 2