God becomes unmasked with the birth of Jesus, explains Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines in his Christmas message after an extraordinary year.
In a special video now on our homepage, Bishop Nick thanks everyone across our diocese for keeping hope alive, when the world has seemed sometimes dark and fearful:
“Well here we are at Christmas and we never thought a year ago we’d have a year like the one we’ve just had.
“So the first thing I want to say is thank you to all our churches, our clergy, our church wardens, offices, everybody who’s been involved in the strange life of the church through the last year. Bringing light into darkness, bringing hope where there has been fear.
And sometimes not even sure if we’re getting it right or not but keeping going anyway and adapting and changing, and I’m so grateful to everyone.
Christmas is in one sense like an unmasking at a time when we’re all wearing masks.
It’s the unmasking of God in a sense that if we ask what God looks like then the answer is look to this Jesus who is born.
And as we grow with Him and we follow the story through then we’ll find our own lives transformed, our way of seeing God and the world and ourselves differently.
So I hope we’ll take the time this Christmas, just a bit of space to step back and ask what it means for Jesus to be the light that comes into the world and dispels the darkness, however complicated, however difficult our lives and our society might be.
So have a happy Christmas, even if a bit of an odd one, and we look to 2021 with hope and with joy.
Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines