Birth of new hope
Below is the Christmas address of the Prime Minister Janez Janša.
Dear fellow Slovenians at home and abroad,
We celebrate Christmas, the birthday of Jesus Christ, in the time of winter solstice when the days are slowly becoming longer. In this magical time when light starts to take over darkness, birth symbolizes new beginnings. A birth of new hope for the world.
Our faith and trust were tested often during hard times that we went through as individuals and as a nation in the passing year. Those who lost a loved one to coronavirus know this very well and let me once again offer them my sincere condolences. Or, those who got sick and went through feelings of despair due to their sickness because it felt like it would never get better. In moments like this, many found consolation in prayers, often forgotten in the bustle of everyday life before the coronavirus pandemic.
“... though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me”, we can read in David’s psalms. Faith and trust that we are not alone in times of hardship will always be of consolation and encoruagement to us. Let them be the rock we can lean on when times get hard. Let them be our strength and courage, allowing us to accept life as it is and to come out better on the other side of hardship. Because this test, too, shall end and as any other, it can be an opportunity. An opportunity to reflect upon what is important and what is not. What is worth it and what shall pass. An opportunity to turn inwards and decide to be better. In the words of Pope Francis: “From no crisis you come out the other side the same person you were coming in it: you can be better or worse.
This crisis, epidemic, test, whatever we call it, brought out the best in many. I met them throughout this year and they were like a light in the darkness. They were of encouragement and support to all of us who did our best in these hard times, as we knew and could. Because of them, this year will also be remembered by many good deeds and exceptional people that offered helped in uncertain circumstances. Because they knew, people needed help and they responded to this call.
The time came when the end meets the beginning and draws out a new path. Let this be a path to the better inside you. So we can better appreciate what we have. So we can be grateful for things that we took for granted even yesterday. So we can tell our loved ones that we love them. So we can find time to talk with our closed ones. So we can appreciate gratitude. Forgive ourselves and others. Accept life as it is, fight for the good and say thank you for every day. Even if it is testing us.
Dear friends, let Christmas days bring peace and joy to your hearts. And, let this Christmas secret, unfathomable and beautiful, awaken hope in you and trust that all shall be well. Trust that everything that is happening, even if hard, is announcing a birth of something new, something better. I believe that even in times of hardship, without Christmas lights and a festive table, we will have understanding and support between us. And with this, a strength to overcome every challenge.
I know that we will beat this virus and that next year, Christmas will be celebrated together with everyone we love. This year, I kindly ask of you to respect protective measures even during holidays to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Stay healthy.
I wish a merry, joyful, blessed and peaceful Christmas to all.