Bishop Ian shares his Christmas message:
In this last year we have witnessed a great deal of pain, suffering and death in countries in the Middle East. Not much has changed then since the time of Christ!
Now there is the frightening ebola epidemic in West Africa. Health, peace and goodwill seem so far away.
Yet our annual observance of the birth of Christ is a call to remember God’s close identity with our human situation.
If little has changed, then so much more do we need now to see and work for the coming of God’s kingdom. It brings new life and new opportunities. When we allow God to enter the picture, we acknowledge that we do not have all the answers, but we know and trust that we can respond to God’s prompting and recognise the signs of the kingdom in all those people who work for peace, who treat and nurse the ebola patients, who work for justice and freedom in an unjust and imprisoned world.
And it not just ‘over there’ in the Middle East or Sierra Leone. We have a part to play too, in bringing the love of God into the situations where we are, in our homes, in our places of work, in our relationships with one another and within our society and its needs.
If ‘Love came down at Christmas’ in the birth of Jesus Christ, then we who call ourselves Christians must surely seek to bring that love to bear in our daily lives. A very happy, blessed and peaceful Christmas to you all.