Christmas time reminds us of the love of parents for a child, that beloved child being Jesus and the parents Mary and Joseph. They as good parents did all they could to protect Jesus as he came into the world through the love of God for us all and the strength and devotion of Mary.
Christmas ought to be, but sadly in our world isn’t, a special time for all children, an opportunity to let them know they are loved and special. I was blessed to have many wonderful Christmas’s as a child surrounded by family, food and lots of fun.
The reality for many seafarers is that they are away from their families for up to 9 months at a time and while Wi-Fi has vastly improved communication it just isn’t the same as hugging your child or holding your new born. In the seafarer centres it is common to hear seafarers laughing and crying with their children.
Seafarers being away from their children at Christmas with its emphasis on being together is especially challenging. It is one reason that the Mission to Seafarers is present, to support seafarers when they are apart from their families. The approx. 1000 gifts that 50 volunteers at the seafarers centre in Vancouver put together and are then given out to seafarers on the ships is a way to bring them some comfort and joy.
I ask you to join me in thinking and praying for the men and women, the seafarers who will spend this Christmas far from their loved ones.
Loving Lord this Christmas in the midst of the joy and festivities with our loved ones give us hearts and minds that think of and go out to seafarers around the world who are not with theirs and hold us all together in your peace. Amen