RSS Feed

At the heart of Christmas

Published: 5th November 2021

Archdeacon Robert JonesAn article for December's editions of parish magazines from the Archdeacon of Worcester, Robert Jones. 

Let’s hope we can celebrate Christmas more openly and at ease this year than last! Looking back over the past 18 months or so it is hard to believe how much we’ve had to put up with and how we’ve changed our behaviour in order to stay safe. I’m amazed how we have adapted our lives. Who would have thought that wearing masks in crowded places would become second nature? That a nationwide vaccination programme would have been so successfully developed? And that we’d all get used to administering lateral flow tests ourselves?

We have learned to manage public worship as safely as possible. We have celebrated funerals, weddings and family events in new and creative ways, though at some cost along the way. We have had to concentrate on the essentials. We have put ourselves out to look after ourselves and others with practical loving-kindness. Although we lost so much, it seems to me we have gained much as well. Perhaps, you could say, we put the heart back into human society.

Do you remember how last year’s Christmas celebrations were much more muted than usual? People commented on how much they actually enjoyed the simplicity of pared down celebrations and an albeit enforced break with old routines. We had to re-think. We had to ask what really counted. We had to improvise -  because we couldn’t sing in church, we went outside to sing our carols. Strangely enough we took Christmas back to where it first began - not shut inside holy places, however beautiful, but outside in the world God so loved.

Mary and Joseph also had to improvise as they found a place for their son to be born. The heart of Christmas was born in the mucky manger of Bethlehem: even there, surely, their hearts sang for joy. The beating heart of Christmas was and is the Babe of Bethlehem, born for us.

Love came down at Christmas,

love all lovely, Love divine;

love was born at Christmas,                                                                                                                                        

stars and angels gave the sign.                  (Christina Rossetti)

I wonder what will make our hearts sing this Christmas.

Page last updated: Friday 5th November 2021 10:16 AM

Latest News

Call for prayer ahead of the General Election

23rd May 2024

The bishops of the Church of England have issued a call to put prayer and participation at the heart of the General Election campaign as the UK prepares to go to the polls....

Sign up for the Diocesan Mailing

The Diocesan Mailing is produced every two weeks and contains news, training opportunties and events from around the diocese and wider Church of England. Sign up here.

Send us your news

If you have a news story you'd like to share with us, please email Sam Setchell / 07852 302516. If you have an upcoming event you'd like to publicise, you can add it to our calender.     

Latest Video Reflection

Every two weeks we produce a short video reflection. These cover a range of topics and themes and are published on the website and our social media channels.

Powered by Church Edit