RSS Feed

Finding hope this Christmas-time

Published: 6th November 2023

Bishop MartinBishop Martin writes about finding hope in the Christmas story in this article for December editions of parish magazines.

I don’t know about you, but I rather dread turning on the news these days. It seems to have been particularly awful recently. The horrendous attack by Hamas and the taking of hundreds of hostages. The consequent attacks on Hamas in Gaza with such devastating consequences for innocent civilians living in that crowded land and unable to escape. The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has not gone away of course, and there have been tragic attacks on Christians in Armenia, Pakistan and India that have gone largely unreported. If we add to these the cost-of-living crisis in this country, and the accelerating climate crisis affecting every country, it is easy to feel deep despair and a sense of hopelessness in the face of it all. As the psalmist said, ‘I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where is my help to come?’

Christmas gives a message of hope, but not false hope. It speaks of the Logos or Word, the divine energy at the heart of all things, the dynamic force behind all creation, all that is. The source of inspiration for all human beings. This Logos is forever sustaining the universe and breaking into our consciousness, but in the birth of Jesus that Word was made flesh, once and for all. Jesus was born in Israel/Palestine in another dark time in that region’s history. But God is as he is in Jesus, therefore we have hope. As St John says in the first few verses of his amazing gospel: ‘In him was life and that life was the light of all people.’

Terrible things do happen in our world. Innocent men, women and children were killed in Jesus’ lifetime too and yet he still preached and lived a gospel of peace and hope – right to the end and his death on the cross. But evil and hatred will never have the last word: ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.’

At Christmas we rejoice in God with us, Emmanuel. We rejoice in a hope for justice in this world, and for hope of a justice beyond this life too, when every wrong is put right and God is all in all.  

May God be a blessing to you this Christmas time, and may you be filled with hope and love for God’s world.

Loving God, we thank you for the message of peace that Christmas brings to our distracted world. We pray for peace in our world, peace in our streets, peace in our homes and peace in our hearts, as we celebrate the birth at Bethlehem of the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Page last updated: Monday 6th November 2023 12:26 PM

Latest News

Step by step guide to appointing the next Bishop of Worcester

21st May 2024

Bishop John has announced that he will be retiring at the beginning of October this year. This announcement started the discernment process to find the next Bishop of Worcester....

Sign up for the Diocesan Mailing

The Diocesan Mailing is produced every two weeks and contains news, training opportunties and events from around the diocese and wider Church of England. Sign up here.

Send us your news

If you have a news story you'd like to share with us, please email Sam Setchell / 07852 302516. If you have an upcoming event you'd like to publicise, you can add it to our calender.     

Latest Video Reflection

Every two weeks we produce a short video reflection. These cover a range of topics and themes and are published on the website and our social media channels.

Powered by Church Edit