Bishop of Monmouth’s Christmas Message

First published in News

INEVITABLY the closing of this year will be remembered for the death of Nelson Mandela, a true icon of freedom and social justice. His work will continue to inspire not only black Africans, but also many others. His strong but gentle manner and his wisdom will be distilled through human history and will serve as a necessary reminder to those who speak easily of freedom but have not costed it in their own lives. Action often speaks louder than words. Mandela’s imprisonment for political radicalism gave strength and meaning to his fight for freedom.

The story of Christmas may be easily wrapped up in a feel-good blanket of sentiment, but at its core is a message of freedom and salvation. God spoke not only in words but in action by entering into the world as a newborn baby and engaging with the struggle of us all to become truly human.

Nelson Mandela once famously said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.”

God is spirit, but He is also flesh. He speaks to us in the words of the Bible and also communicates with us through the deep experience of being human, in a language that goes to the heart. God’s continuing love for humanity is remembered with joy at Christmas. It is also a reminder to us all of the need to engage with the task of being truly human and share His peace with others.

Have a blessed Christmas.

Bishop Richard

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