May the celebration of Christmas this year bring you the gifts of healing and hope that we all need.
The harmful force of the pandemic that we have been living with for almost two years has affected everyone. Some of us have suffered physically; all of us have suffered mentally and socially. We need healing in our minds and in our relationships. We need to find the ways of patience and kindness with one another.
How can we hope to do that? The light shone to send the shepherds to Bethlehem and led the wise men to the same place and the same child. This child is Emmanuel, God among us, entering our broken world to heal us and make us whole.
This child started his earthly life as a refugee. In this year’s Christmas Story art exhibition for senior primary students, I was struck by William Horton’s painting of the Holy Family fleeing to Egypt. It brought back poignant memories of recent pictures from Afghanistan, with desperate people clinging to the wings of planes taxiing away without them.
Jesus is present in the eighty million people displaced from their homes in our world today. He is present in your family member, workmate or friend who is suffering. He is most present to you in your times of trouble.
May finding him, who can heal all our woe, be your best gift this Christmas; and may the compassion he will share with you be your best gift to others.
Bishop of Bathurst