The special time for family and friends which is Christmas is a celebration most of us take for granted.
But it will not be the joyous occasion it is meant to be for everyone.
The disadvantaged, the poor, the sick and the lonely will have little to enjoy without the outreach of others.
Thankfully, there are those in our community who care about these people and who will do what they can to make Christmas a little brighter.
While most of us will relish the company of others, the exchanging of gifts, and a Christmas feast, we should spare a thought for those who will struggle to enjoy the season.
People like the parents and friends of the 20 children and seven teachers who were gunned down and killed at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut a little over a week ago. It will be a sombre Christmas for the Newtown community.
Closer to home the 68 employees of Grain Products Australia and their families will be thinking about an uncertain future. Will they have a job in the weeks and months ahead?
In other parts of the world conflicts have destroyed the fabric of society. Families live in fear and survival is a day-to-day proposition. It will be the same for the starving in third world countries plagued by drought and corruption.
In Australia we have little to complain about. While we moan about political decisions, the price of fuel and electricity, and get angry over incidents and events which by comparison are minor and trivial, we should reflect on how lucky we are to live where we do and enjoy all the abundant benefits our peaceful democracy provides.
It is also important to remember why we celebrate Christmas. The birth of Jesus delivers a message about faith and the Christian church’s teachings about His life remains the important message which guides His followers and the lives they lead. That faith is the guiding light for us all.