Posted Wednesday 23 December 2009
A Christmas reflection from the Most Rev David Chillingworth, Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church:
“I enjoy Christmas. I like the warmth when it’s cold outside. I like having my family around me. I especially enjoy going to church at Christmas - lots of people think that church with family is an important part of Christmas and our churches are busy. I like making them feel welcome.
“So what’s the shadow over the stable at Bethlehem? Well just that Jesus didn’t come to usher in contentment - he came to bring love to a hard and unfeeling world.
“So Christmas becomes a lens through which I look at the world. Contentment shouldn’t become smugness - or enjoyment become self-indulgence. As a pastor and a human being, I have always been keenly aware of the bitter-sweet dimension of Christmas. Loss, pain and loneliness are sharper at Christmas.
“There are people who are particularly in our thoughts and prayers this Christmas. First among them are young servicemen and women in Afghanistan and their families at home - particularly the families who have been bereaved during the year. Then there is the economic bleakness of this Christmas for many people - particularly the Flyglobespan staff and many others.
“Our world has a long way to go. At Christmas, remember in your thoughts and prayers the needs of a troubled world - a world of inequality and injustice; a world full of pain, suffering and fear.
“To remember, to share and to pray will connect you to the true meaning of Christmas - God’s loving answer to the needs of a troubled world.
“I wish you all a happy, peaceful and blessed Christmas.”