Christmas messages from Bishop John and Bishop Martin:
The Bishop of Worcester’s Christmas Message
At the birth of Jesus, the angels sang: ‘Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth!’
Peace is the message of Christmas. It’s a message the world desperately needs to hear now more than ever.
There are wars and rumours of wars all over the world. We face catastrophic global warming and then there is the curse of Covid 19. All that can fill our hearts with fear and anxiety, rather than peace.
God never promised us that life would be easy. What the birth of Jesus makes clear, though, is that God is with us. The life and death and resurrection of Jesus teach us that God’s love is stronger than anything this world can throw at us. God’s love can cast out fear, which is the opposite of love.
Worcester Cathedral has stood firm for over a thousand years. Over the centuries God’s people have felt the peace of Christmas there whilst living through times far worse than our own. During the Black Death, the Plague, famine, civil and world wars the Cathedral has been a sanctuary of God’s peace, and still is.
Jesus tells us that no one can add an hour to their life by being anxious. My prayer for you and for me – and for everyone – this Christmas is that we shall feel the Peace of God of which the angels sang, that we shall be enfolded by it and given strength to spread peace and good will to others.
God bless you and a very Merry Christmas to you.
Bishop John Inge
The Bishop of Dudley’s Christmas Message
Migrants and refugees are often in the new at the moment. Men, women and children in search of a safe place to live. In search of a better life or fleeing war or conflict.
Imagine that being you. You and those closest to you with nowhere to go, nowhere to lay your head, not knowing where your next meal will come from. Imagine doing that if you were expecting a baby. You might long for the birth, but somehow dread it too – how will you manage?
Mary was expecting a baby when she had to leave her home in Nazareth and travel to Bethlehem. No sooner had Jesus been born than she was on the move again, this time to Egypt to escape the murderous persecution of King Herod.
As we remember the birth of Jesus with carols and lights, with feasting and laughter, let’s spare a thought, or maybe more, for all those on the move today. On the run, desperate to find somewhere safe, somewhere to lay their head, somewhere perhaps for their new born child to grow and to thrive. Spare a thought for the holy family, wherever they may be this Christmas time.
Bishop Martin Gorick