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Dear COA Family,

Blessed Christmas to you and your family!

This Christmas season, I would like to bring you the same message of joy that the angel brought to
the shepherds at the first Christmas:
I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a
Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord” Luke 2:10-11.

Jesus, the Son of God and Saviour of the world, has come to bring God’s hope and love to a dead
and dying world. He has come to bring peace and joy to the depressed and downcast soul. He has
come to bring healing and strength to the sick and the weak. What a wonderful piece of news!

And for this week’s devotion, I would like to focus on the phrase spoken by the angel: for all the

This good news of God saving the world is given for all races, tribes, languages and people groups
of every stratum and status in society. No one is excluded from the good news of God.

Yet I have often heard it said, during my sharing of the gospel to non-Christians, that Christianity is a
Westerner’s religion. Even if they do not articulate it, they subconsciously view Christianity in this
way. In other words, Christ is not suited for Asians.

How wrong is this view! The angel has plainly said that Jesus is given by God for all people.

Personally, I am not entirely sure where this view came from. Perhaps it was because Christianity
was first embraced by the Western world and then brought to us through colonialism. Perhaps
many of the Western countries are predominantly Christian or have Christian roots. Perhaps it is
because the drawings of Jesus often depict him with blond hair and blue eyes.

Whatever the case may be, Jesus was in fact more Asian than Western. He was born in the Middle
East and of the tribe of Judah – a Jewish person. He was more likely to have black hair and brown
eyes. He was closer in heritage to Asians than Caucasians.

Please don’t get me wrong. I am not trying to create a competition or a divide between Asians and
Caucasians to see who deserves Jesus more. Instead, I am trying to point out how wrong the view
that Christianity is a “western” religion really is.

Friends, let us not also be influenced by this view this Christmas season. Let us not think that
Christianity is from the West and therefore has no relevance to our Asian family and friends. Let
us see what is true and of the truth – Jesus is given by God for all people.

And in fact, many are more open to the love of God and the peace of Christ this season than ever
before. I have already had the privilege to lead two strangers to Christ and have witnessed to
many more who were willing to receive prayer. Let us not discount or underestimate how much this
good news means to people in the world!

God bless,
Revd Ian