The Bishop of Chelmsford’s 2011 Christmas Message

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The challenge of the Christmas story is to sing this same song of peace and good will amidst the sorrows, trials, inequalities and injustices of today's world. It means caring about those who are without a job, or without a home. It means trying to build a different world and trying to live by a different set of values. It means remembering those who are worse off, and doing something about it. It means providing jobs and homes and meals. It also means ensuring that people have jobs and homes and meals for life.

None of this will be easy. But the biggest danger of all is starting to believe that nothing can change and that our own contribution makes no difference. It does. Things can change.

And if the Christian faith teaches us anything, it is that one person can make a difference. That person is Christ. He shows us a different way of living. He gives us a different set of values. What he brings is what the world so desperately needs. And he begins that life in solidarity with the poorest of the poor.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmas

1 Comments
Posted December 29, 2011 at 3:39 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. MichaelA wrote:

The bishop of Chelmsford spends several sentences of his sermon telling us what Christ did for us, and several more telling us how we Christians can make a difference at Christmas.

Yet the good bishop leaves out the most important thing - Christ came to this earth primarily to pay the penalty that I deserved for my sin.  If a sermon is about what Christ does for us, how can this not be mentioned?

And if a sermon also covers what we should do, how can it not mention the most important duty that Christ lays on those he has redeemed - that they themselves should spread the good news to others of what Christ can do for them?

Not a mention. Yet, the Queen of England, lacking any theological training, was able to say in a few words what the Bishop of Chelmsford completely missed:

“God sent into the world a unique person - neither a philosopher nor a general, important though they are, but a Saviour, with the power to forgive.

Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It can heal broken families, it can restore friendships and it can reconcile divided communities. It is in forgiveness that we feel the power of God’s love.

In the last verse of this beautiful carol, O Little Town Of Bethlehem, there’s a prayer:

O Holy Child of Bethlehem,
Descend to us we pray.
Cast out our sin
And enter in.
Be born in us today.

It is my prayer that on this Christmas day we might all find room in our lives for the message of the angels and for the love of God through Christ our Lord.”

December 30, 1:58 am | [comment link]
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