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Bishop Hagiya’s Christmas Message 2017

Christmas joy to all of you:

We are living through some difficult and challenging times. Our contemporary world has been described by the U.S. Army War College after the Cold War, as a VUCA world: “Volatility, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous.” Certainly, I think we can all agree on these characteristics.

There have been few times in recent history that we have needed a message of hope and encouragement more than now. The whole world yearns for such a message of hope, peace and love.

Into this challenging world, our Savior, Jesus Christ has come as a counter to the VUCA world. We Christians know well that the birth of the Christ child means that our world will be forever different. Jesus comes into a world of suffering, pain and anguish, and offers a vision of a new world, where peace, love, and justice reign supreme. No earthly leader or power can vanquish our VUCA world, but God through the baby Jesus has the means to provide us a counter to these VUCA values.

The negative words of VUCA speak of the dangers of our world. The counter words speak of the opportunity in the positive values of: “Vision, Understanding, Clarity, and Agility.” The birth of Jesus represents all of these words and much more. Jesus brings into focus a new way to look at the world, and a better way to be in the world.

This is why our celebration of the birth of Jesus is so important. We can allow the negative words of the VUCA world to get to us, depress us and lead us to despair. We can also allow the positive opportunities of VUCA: “Vision” = God’s plan of love and light for the world, “Understanding” = the need for all of us to seek a greater truth about each other and our enemies, “Clarity” = to see the world through the positive lenses of faith, and finally, “Agility” = to adapt and experiment with the central values of love and compassion to counter the hate and enmity of our world.

Let us not give into the negative VUCA world, but let us give testimony to the great truth all of us Christians will celebrate this month:

“For unto us is born a Savior, who is Christ the Lord…”

We celebrate this birth, and what it means for our world!

Be the Hope,

Bishop Grant J. Hagiya
Los Angeles Area Resident Bishop
The United Methodist Church