IACK Christmas Message
This Christmas many people are living with uncertainty, yet this is nothing new. For centuries people have lived with worry and insecurity, but for over two thousand years we have lived with the truth which we celebrate each Christmas Day: the truth that God became man for us, for each and every one of us. The Christ child born in Bethlehem is our anchor, and our saviour. His coming brings us confidence so we can face the future with hope.
We celebrate Christmas at the darkest time of the year, the days are short and the nights long, but our celebrations bring light to our darkness and hope to our lives. In these days we see incredible generosity as people reach out to others, especially to those in need. In a time of political instability, financial worries, foodbanks and poverty so many are daily supporting those who most need our help. In recent weeks donations to local foodbanks have increased as people give help to those most in need at this time of year. Those who have plenty supporting those with so little.
Jesus was born in poverty, in a stable, in the dark, open to the cold. His first visitors were not friends and family or people that Mary and Joseph knew, they were strangers – shepherds from the surrounding hillside summoned by angels and wise men from the east who followed a star bringing gifts for the new born king. Stars don’t just lead us but remind us of the creative power of God and his presence in our lives. God is with us in the star that shines in our hearts. God became one of us because we matter.
Jesus, the true Light, has come in our lives to give us real hope because each one of us matters, this is not just wishful thinking. Jesus, the Light of the world shows us the way out of the despair of poverty, and of instability and of the gloom of the seasons to a brighter future ahead. We believe that the child born in Bethlehem will guide us and support us and that makes our festivities worthwhile.
We buy presents for our families and friends; we decorate our homes, offices and churches; and we travel long distances so that we can be with the people whom we love most, reminding us of God’s love for us.
Let us then pray for peace in our world and in our lives echoing the song of the angels: ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven and on earth peace to people of goodwill.
The Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon OP Archbishop of Liverpool International Chaplain