Christmas Message from the Principal

​Christmas surprise!


Many would agree that a camping holiday over the Christmas break is one of those quintessential Aussie experiences. 

Have you ever been at a camp ground early in the piece as other campers are beginning to arrive?  Newcomers arrive at all times of the day and night.  Each morning has its own surprise as the tents of the after-dark-arrivers have seemingly popped up overnight like mushrooms!  Those early days at the campsite are a delight as friendships are renewed or forged afresh with each new arrival.
These Aussie images and memories of camping by the beach, creek or lake come to mind when I read the Christmas story in the scriptures.  Although the author of St John’s Gospel does not give an account of the nativity story, he does use an evocative phrase to describe the incarnation: The Word became flesh: God pitched his tent and dwelt amongst us. (John 1:14)  

Christmas2.jpgIt is like the human family awoke one morning and exclaimed, “Well, well! Look who has arrived overnight!”  And just like campers living in make-shift community with one another; in Jesus, God shares our everyday experiences; the highs, the lows and the ordinary.  Moreover, in the example of his life, Jesus shows us how to live with and for one another, in a spirit of authenticity and generosity.

‘Belonging’ is the essence of the Christmas feast we are about to celebrate.  We have a place at God’s table, just as Jesus takes his place at ours.  I hope we all experience something of this sense of belonging to one another, family and friends, as we celebrate Christmas this year.

The theme ‘In Jesus, God has pitched his tent and dwelt amongst us!’ has inspired the creativity of MMC young artists, Ella Eyndhoven and Francesca Bates in designing our 2021 Christmas Card.  Thanks to Ms Andrea Christou who has helped to give form to their creativity.  
Christmas Card.png
Mt Maria College 2021 Christmas Card, created by students Ella Eyndhoven and Francesca Bates

Goodbye, Farewell and Amen

At this year’s end, I wish well those of our students and their families who are ‘packing up their tents’ to move elsewhere for 2022.  We thank you for sharing your time with us at MMC and hope that your futures are filled with many good things. 
Our graduating Year 12 students have a special place in our hearts as they make their liminal journey from our MMC campground into the future that unfolds before them.  During their time among us our shared purpose has been their development as young people of strong mind and compassionate heart.  When speaking at their graduation ceremonials, I drew on the wisdom of American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson who observed; “What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.”   May these fine young people generously share what is within in enriching their friends and family and the communities in which they will live and serve.​

Thank you, MMC students!

On behalf of all, I say ‘thanks’ to you, our students, in whose cause our school community exists.  I thank you for your initiative; for your determination, your dreams; for your resolve to try once more when things don’t go right, confident that you will learn and grow.  For your sense of fun, your compassion, your truth; thank you. 
I thank your families who have entrusted you into our care.  I thank your teachers and all of your school staff for believing in you; for their dedication to you, even when you were not aware of it; for their commitment to continually respond with innovation and passion to your emerging needs. 
We look back across the year that has been, and we say ‘thanks’!  With hope-filled hearts we confidently look ahead into the promise of the future, and for all that will be, and in trust we say ‘yes’!​

A meditation on love

Perhaps one of the best-known meditations on the enduring gift of love comes from St Paul and his letter to the Christians of Corinth (1 Corinthians, Chapter 13).  I share with you this insightful American Christmas 'knock-off' for your reflection

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child. Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the partner. Love is kind, though harried and tired. Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way; but is thankful they are there to be in the way. Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return; but rejoices in giving to those who can't.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust, but giving the gift of love will endure.

Best wishes for loved-filled Christmas and a refreshing and renewing break.  Take care until we gather for the start of our next school year!

God bless us all, everyone!

 ​Luke Reed
College Principal​