Advent 2020 – Christmas Day
By Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham – Please Share Widely
During Advent we’ve been reflecting together daily on the readings from scripture on the Advent Antiphons we’ve been thinking about god’s message to us one of the early messages that struck me was do not be afraid and of course, that’s also the message that the angels give to the shepherds understandably rather fearful around what’s just happened with angels appearing to them unexpectedly but they are brought good news
I found myself reflecting for this Christmas Day on the fact that Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem not voluntarily, but because they were subject to government restrictions government commands that made them leave Nazareth and go all the way to Bethlehem and yet in the midst of not really wanting to be there. In the midst of having to go along with government requests, God breaks in with the greatest good news that humanity has ever had and still has, the birth of his son into the world.
So as we come to the end of our reflections as we celebrate this Christmas Day together as we rejoice again with the angels and the shepherds and Mary and Joseph at the birth of the Savior of the world, let’s remind ourselves that this happens in the midst of the realities of politics and national life and international life. And that whatever is happening with that, God is at work, and that God is at work even through the midst of the Covid crisis that we are not through yet, and the good news of the vaccine is that. But it’s not the best news that the world has ever had. The best news, of course, is the birth and then the death and the resurrection of our saviour Jesus so let us rejoice again in all that God does for us in coming into the world and let’s recognize that this is the good news to celebrate may you have a joyful Christmas.