Written on 23/12/2021
Christmas Message from the Dean of Derby
Greetings to those in the many different communities that make up Derby Cathedral!
In these days that lead up towards Christmas we complete our Advent journey. We wait for the coming of God as judge, the one who will right the wrongs of this world and bring to birth all that is good.
These days are tense as we wait to see what the consequences of the Omicron variant will be and understand what may have to change in our daily lives.
How we long for normality and it’s a burden to us that we cannot plan. We long for the restrictions to be over. We are frustrated that our freedoms are curtailed. We are worried about the economic effects Covid prolonged will have. We have deep concerns about what is happening in our politics.
We live in an unsatisfactory world but our experience of being unsettled is part of Advent waiting. Its important to be in tune with our unfulfilled desires and hopes for a different world. This is because God creates these hopes in our hearts so that he can respond to our deepest desires with his overflowing love.
God longs to meet our desires. When we have deep longing for the good, then that is God working in us, preparing the way for good news in Christ at Christmas. Advent is not only for the four weeks before Christmas, it’s an outlook, a disposition of our hearts, for the whole of our Christian lives. We are an Advent people always looking forward to the coming of God at Christmas.
Without forgetting the challenges of the moment, let’s look to the future with gladness in our hearts. God is always on the way to meet us and fulfil our deepest longings. God comes in the infant Jesus who is born once again at Christmas time and who lies in front of us.
He is the hope of world. He is the one who offers the forgiveness of sins, peace in our hearts and a fresh start with God. In a vulnerable child God meets with his love our hopes and fears, our aspirations and insecurities. The promise of Christmas is that Covid does not have the final say, nor do the kingdoms of this world.
Love revealed in the baby Jesus amidst all the unsatisfactoriness of this world has the final word. It’s towards our creator born in a stable that we turn at Christmas. There we meet God in God’s weakness. God entering into the sufferings of human beings so that we might become like God though faith. All made possible by the power of love at work in death.
May I wish you all a very happy and satisfying Christmas even in this time of challenge, and may God’s love surround us all, our families and our friend, and all we work with in this City of Derby, in the County of Derbyshire and throughout the Diocese.
Let us pray.
Lord Jesus Christ,
your birth at Bethlehem
draws us to kneel in wonder at heaven touching earth:
accept our heartfelt praise
as we worship you,
our Saviour and our eternal God.
You can watch the Christmas Message on the Cathedral YouTube channel
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