Chritsmas message from Lancashire's bishop

The Westmorland Gazette: The Rt Rev Julian Henderson The Rt Rev Julian Henderson

Chritsmas message from Lancashire's bishop, Rt Rev Julian Henderson, the Bishop of Blackburn

 

"It is a great privilege to be able to wish you a very Happy Christmas on this my first Christmas as the Bishop of Blackburn.

I wonder what ‘Happy Christmas’ means to each of us?

A peaceful day? Time with family and friends? Good food?

Relaxing entertainment? Break from work? Receiving and giving of gifts?

I hope that everyone will enjoy some if not all of those pleasures – though I know that Christmas can sometimes be a difficult and even a painful time, and my thoughts are with those who are lonely, bereaved, seriously ill or struggling financially.

I believe that ‘Happy Christmas’ means something more than these material things. It is a time when we are all invited to enter into a joyful celebration, that God has loved the world so much that He sent His Son into the world.

He came as a new-born baby, Jesus, entering into the full human experience of life on earth, with all its joys and sorrows.

So Christmas for me is the celebration of an extraordinary miracle – God with us, which is what the name Emmanuel means.

And that is all the more wonderful, when we remember what humankind did to Him – putting Him on a cross and leaving Him there to die. Christmas leads to Good Friday, and then thankfully to Easter.

So I wish every reader, and all your friends and loved ones, a blessed, peaceful and Happy Christmas.

And my prayer is that we will all understand and receive the wonderful gift of God’s gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, and so find a joy and peace in knowing Him whatever our circumstances."

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