How different Christmas will be this year. We have had an extraordinary year like we have never known before. The pandemic has cast a very dark shadow over us, and worry and fear have become the order of the day for many of us.
Christmas is a time for reflecting on the blessings of the past year – even this one – and so I would like to express my gratitude for the generosity of our NHS workers who have worked tirelessly throughout the year, helping us and keeping us safe. Many people have given their time and energy to help neighbours, relatives and the vulnerable who were unable to go out. Others have given their time fundraising for the NHS and those many charities in desperate need.
God reminds us in our pandemic prayer that He is with us, and that He can give us peace, a peace the world cannot provide. ‘Do not be afraid’ is often repeated in the Bible. As I was looking through my Christmas songs and carols an old favourite came to mind, the 1984 Band Aid record which opens with the lyrics ‘It's Christmas time, there's no need to be afraid. At Christmas time, we let in light and we banish shade.’
Many of us will not be with our families this Christmas. This calls to mind the words of another seasonal song, by Michael Bublé: ‘I’ll be home for Christmas. If only in my dreams.’ Wherever you are, let me wish you and your families a happy and holy Christmas and every blessing in 2021. My Christmas prayer for you is as follows:
May God grant you the light of Christmas which is faith
The warmth of Christmas which is love
The radiance of Christmas which is purity
The righteousness of Christmas which is justice
The belief in Christmas which is truth
The all of Christmas which Jesus Christ.