Bishop Tony has just sent out his Christmas message across his Episcopal Area, in which he makes it clear that God is with us in the muckiness of all our lives.
Read it here:
Can the Christmas story really speak into the brokenness of our world? Or is it just a bit of escapism, in the same vein as overdone shopping and parties, the new Paddington film and whatever is on the telly over Christmas?
I would say this, wouldn’t I? But I really do believe that the message of God coming into our world, as a vulnerable baby, becoming a refugee, suffering hardship and persecution, relying on strangers for a bed, for the next meal, and ultimately for a tomb: God really entering and knowing our human condition – that message is exactly what we need to hear today.
Jesus Christ knows what we go through. He knows about bereavement, loss, betrayal. He knows about humanity’s enormous capacity for inhumanity. And when people suffer today: hunger, pain, loss, fear, confusion: he has been there and can be with us in that. And when we mess up and bring suffering on ourselves: he is there alongside us and also to forgive and accept us. As I do my usual thing and visit Wakefield prison on Christmas morning, I will reassure those men who have messed up big-time, that God can still see his image in them, that they can find forgiveness and peace, and start over again.
Christmas is about God being with us in the muckiness of life. It is about him accepting us whoever we are and whatever we have done. It is about hope and peace and a future that means something. Jesus Christ really offers us all of that. Have a wonderful Christmas. Know Jesus is at the heart of it all.
Bishop Tony Robinson
Bishop of Wakefield