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Christmas messages from our bishops

Published: 21st December 2023

Below are Christmas messges from Bishop John and Bishop Martin. 

A Christmas message from Bishop John:

Bishop John“It came upon the midnight clear. That glorious song of old.” The carol goes on to tell us the song to which it’s referring: “Peace on earth, goodwill to men from heaven’s all gracious King.” But it’s words from verse three which seem particularly apt at the moment: “And man at war with man, hears not the love song which they bring. Oh hush the noise, ye men of strife, and hear the angels sing!”

There is so much war, so much distress in our world currently - in Ukraine, in the Holy Land, in Sudan and elsewhere. What a terrible state we're in.

So can we hush the noise and hear the love song that the angels bring? My hope and prayer is that this Christmas, we will be able to let the message of peace fill our hearts and hear the song of the angels and the words of the Prince of Peace. We need to follow him and remind ourselves that if there is to be peace on Earth, it must begin with us. I pray that Jesus’ message of peace will reach deep into all our hearts so that we become peacemakers and peace givers.

And may your hearts also be filled with hope that this Prince of Peace will one day come again in glory, and peace shall indeed reign over all the earth and over all creation.

Happy Christmas.

Bishop John

A Christmas message from Bishop Martin:

 Bishop MartinI recently visited a Church of England school in a deprived part of Dudley Borough.  Children born there today have a life expectancy ten years shorter than those born just a few miles further south. That is a shocking! But it motivates the staff to do all they can to turn that around. To hope for and expect better outcomes for those children. To bring light in the midst of darkness. To enable those children themselves to be beacons of light in their communities.

In a world full of darkness and despair, the light of Christ brings hope. In the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, church schools and churches bring help and friendship, with the God of love at the heart of all that they do.

God came to live amongst us at Christmas. God was born amongst us in Jesus.

There was a cost to that living - cruel men took Jesus and nailed him to the cross. His birth wasn’t the end, as Easter will show us soon enough. God is as he is in Jesus and so I know God is with all who are suffering today, wherever they may be.

But for now, let us be confident. God’s love is strong, stronger even than this dark world’s hate.

The school children sang a joyful song, ‘My Lighthouse’, and told me about Jesus being a light to lighten their path.

God is with Us in Jesus.

In the darkest of nights, his light will shine! 

Bishop Martin

Page last updated: Thursday 21st December 2023 7:58 AM

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