NSW Region East of the SSIO held a special Christmas service at the Catholic Parish of St. Brigid on Sunday, 10 December. Members of the region, coming from a number of faiths sang hymns and Christmas carols, listened to talks and sought to see God in all.
The Sai Organisation is a multi-faith spiritual organisation that encourages the unity of faiths; seeing the common threads that bind all the world religions. A fundamental thread is Love; love of God and love for our fellow human beings. Christmas is a special time for this exploration as Christ is seen as the epitome of Love. The organisation throughout Australia, and indeed, throughout the world is holding celebrations honouring Christ and the message of Christmas over the Christmas period. NSW Region East is one such group that has done this.
One hundred and thirty attended the 1.5 hour service which had a theme, ‘Cheerfully Give, Thankfully Receive’. The theme encouraged us to serve our fellow man and to always have gratitude for what we have and what we receive from God, and our fellows.
A special altar was constructed honouring Christ and the message of Peace. A choir consisting of youth and young adults form the Sai Organisation presented musical items including Christian hymns and Christmas carols, many of which were enthusiastically joined in by the main group of participants.
Father Eric of the parish gave a beautiful talk on the topic, ‘The Birth of Christ – The True Meaning of Christmas’. This was followed by a video on the birth of Christ. Both items were instructive and enjoyed by all. Father Eric mentioned that the church was looking forward to working more closely with our organisation.
Bible readings addressed the theme of service; of selfless giving. The guest speaker, Veena, gave an inspiring talk based on the teachings of Sathya Sai Baba and in harmony with the teachings of Christ on the spiritual importance and obligation to serve those in need and to always have gratitude for what we receive from one and all.
The proceedings were concluded with a guided meditation in which directed us towards seeing God in all creatures, in all of creation, spreading love, light and positive energy and to feel one with nature. All in all, the service was a beautiful enriching experience that generated love and understanding of the true meaning of Christmas.