Counting blessings this festive season

Published on PCHA Colin Acton (author), Mr Jay Cronan (photographer)

Director-General Chaplaincy Navy PCHA Collin Acton. (photo: Jay Cronan)
Director-General Chaplaincy Navy PCHA Collin Acton.

Reflecting on the season, here’s the annual Christmas message from Navy’s Principal Chaplain, Colin Acton.

“If you have been out to the shops in the last few days you will have noticed that the Christmas battle rhythm is building as we close in on the Christian Holiday or ‘Holy day’ chosen to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

It’s a time when relationships are recognised and cherished with our time, thoughts and actions… for some this may involve gifts, for others a kind turn and in some cases an anonymous blessing.  The latter is my personal favourite. 

As Defence, and in particular Navy and all our supporting agencies enter into this season, there are many emotions that get tapped into that we may otherwise not visit.  For those who have the opportunity to take leave and return home to family and loved ones, it may be a time of reflection over the many events of the past year.

Some may experience sadness and grief as we remember those who are no longer with us or those who can’t be with us.  Some may revisit amazing highs and firsts that bring a smile, laugh or a swelled chest.  Then, for some it maybe that it was really a rollercoaster of a year with many challenges – some met and some lost.

Whichever way the season greats you, it is now an opportune time to pause and count our blessings. 

Blessed to be part of Navy that recognises our diversity and embraces inclusivity in a world that seemingly looks for reasons to judge and exclude others. 

Blessed to serve a nation that continuously strives to reconcile and renew relationships with its people and neighbours.

Blessed to know who we are, why we are here, that we are loved and part of a community of likeminded people working together to make the world a better place.

May love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control flow from you to others as you pass through this season. 

Until we meet again in the New Year, I pray you have Merry Christmas and safe travels.”