Bishop John’s Christmas Day MessageFriday 25th December 2020
I’d like to wish you all a happy Christmas, different and difficult though it may be this year.
If you have a crib at home this Christmas, or even just a picture on a Christmas card of Mary and Joseph, the baby in the Manger. There may be shepherds around, or the ox and the ass, but the important thing is that there’s silence. No-one is saying anything, they’re just rejoicing in the birth of Jesus. There’s no need for words. It’s just a simple prayer being there.
I wonder what your Christmas is like this year. It’s probably quite different to the one you would normally have planned. You may be with some of your family, or may have decided that this year you simply can’t be together. But we are together. We are together in hope.
I wonder what Mary must have been thinking as she gazed on that child. The angel Gabriel had made great promise to her that this was all part of God’s plan, but she must have been a little bit confused, pondering all of these things in her heart.
What is God’s plan, allowing me to be here 70 miles from home, giving birth to this baby – God’s son – here in a stable. He’s got some plan, but I’m not quite sure what it is. You and I have got to live with that sense of hope, that in all the brokenness and the sadness of our world, particularly in this last year of the pandemic. Let’s see how our priorities may change, how our faith may be strengthened as we look again at how we can be Ambassadors for Jesus, how we may be Missionary Disciples and proclaim the love of God in our actions of everyday.
I hope that this Christmas, even though it is different and for some rather disappointing, that it can still be an important moment of prayer and a reminder to us all that Jesus is here among us, and that he’ll guide us.
God bless you, as we celebrate Christmas together, and may the Lord stay with us always on our journey.
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