It has been a violent year. We have seen acts of terror perpetrated across the world and on our own streets. We have seen a rise in far-right parties preaching intolerance and hatred. We have seen suspicion and mistrust rising in our communities.
It is against this background that we come once again to celebrate Advent and Christmas, with its message of hope to all people, and never has that message seemed more important or appropriate. The gospel is about hope in a world where hope is to often in short supply. It is a about light in a world that seems so dark.
So, let us grasp this opportunity to proclaim that message. Not just the story of the baby in the manger, but the message of hope that God come among us brings to our world. Let us use our light to counter the darkness and fear which so many are feeling at this time.
As the well-known carol puts it –
Yet with the woes of sin and strife, The world has suffered long;
Beneath the angel strain have rolled, Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not, The love-song which they bring;
O hush the noise, ye men of strife, And hear the angels sing.
May our celebrations allow others to hear the voices of angels this Christmas.
Message from Superintendent Revd. Paul Saunders