Christmas Message from Bishop JohnSunday 25th December 2022
As another Christmas dawns and we continue to face a number of challenges both around the world and here in our own diocese, Bishop John reminds us that Christmas is a season of hope; and in the midst of darkness “a great light has shone down upon the earth.”
“I’m wishing you a very happy Christmas -but of course, look at the circumstances in which we are celebrating Christmas.
“We’ve got economic troubles at home, haven’t we, with so many people being affected, particularly in in the difficult conditions weather wise during the last few weeks. But we’ve got inflation and we’ve got economic recessions and things.
“It makes it very difficult to enter into a spirit of Christmas, which is full of parties, lights, presents, reindeer, Santa Claus. A lot of people have been celebrating for some weeks – maybe that’s just to get away from the tensions and the difficulties of the reality of the world in which we live?
“And of course, the world globally is in difficulties with conflict, and not just in Ukraine, where that’s so terrible and distressing, but in many other countries, too. And we’ve got over 100 million refugees and internally displaced people, and we’ve got the ongoing challenges – urgent challenges – of climate change.
“But in all that, we have every reason to celebrate Christmas because it’s about hope. It’s about the fact that God so loves us that He sent His Son to be our Redeemer: to be the way, the truth and the life. And that the Son, Jesus, was challenged throughout his life with poverty, with exile, with refugee status, and with all the opposition of those in His ministry. But He was always there to reassure, to guide and to encourage.
“And that’s what we must celebrate as we celebrate Christmas together, even in the difficulties of this year. So whether you’re celebrating with parties, with family and friends or more quietly on your own, I wish you a hope-filled Christmas with every blessing for the coming New Year.”