Christmas Message from Bishop Thomas Williams

Message from the Right Reverend Thomas Williams, Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool, for Christmas 2012.

I once witnessed a baby change a world. A world that was full of anger, despair, hatred and tension into one of caring, concern, hope and, yes, love and all in ten minutes.

The world I am speaking of was in the Casualty Department of our local hospital. On this particular night it epitomised the world in which we live.

How did one child change that world? Well, he was my Christmas Story, he was my personal experience of the Saviour Jesus, and his message to the world: his calming influence. He was brought to casualty because his mother was ill, but his light in the midst of darkness was childlike. He simply smiled, he giggled, and his bright brown eyes brought out the best in all who came up to him. The hassled staff, the grieving relatives, even the patients themselves began to respond to one another. That child brought peace to that world: an innocent child in the midst of chaos.

My Christmas message to you all is encapsulated in that child’s smile. ‘May the Peace of Christ our Saviour be with each of you’. If you come to him, it will bring out the best in each of you, wherever you are, whatever chaos and trauma you are suffering, whatever state of mind you are in. May you be able to face life with the wisdom, understanding, right judgement and courage of a strong Faith and Belief.

This past year I have witnessed that same ‘child experience’ many times. The experience of being with the families of the Hillsborough 96 in St George’s Hall immediately after they had been given the feedback of the Report, was a truly life-changing experience. It was the bright light of Hope and a real hope this time that others were listening to them. That they might just be able to move on from individual despair and anger to a wider understanding of family, harmony and Truth.

Children don’t always have a reason to smile, but when they do, they touch on that saving truth: an awareness of the Wonder and Awe of God’s Presence in our world. That is the real Christmas Message. May the Child Jesus reveal that Truth in you all.