Bishop: receive Him again

26
December
2017

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The Bishop of Winchester – The Right Reverend Tim Dakin – has urged Winchester parishioners “to receive Him again.”

In the packed Christmas Day Eucharist at the Cathedral in Winchester, the Bishop also talked about stories based on real events – and urged us to remember to say “sorry.”

He says he asked his family what he should talk about during the service – and the reply was: “Jesus”

Bishop

Here’s a reminder of the Bishop’s Christmas Message:

The birth of Jesus – here and now

At a particular time, in a particular place, Jesus was born – sent by God to save the world he had created and loved.  For God, who created the heavens and the earth, to confine himself to such a humble beginning is one of the things that continues to amaze those who hear the story.

No one, except a tiny few – shepherds and seers – paid any attention to Jesus’ birth.  Yet this year, around the world, people of every age and from every ethnicity and nation, will celebrate this event because Jesus has changed their lives.  The baby in Bethlehem was the beginning of everything Jesus has done – from the life we read about in the bible, to the lives of billions of people who have recognised that God has drawn close to them in Jesus.

That is why you will hear Christians repeat the words “To us a child is born; to us a Saviour is given”, as if those historical events happened every year at Christmas.  The story of Jesus’ birth is our story – what happened then and there is the greatest thing that God has done here and now.  The baby of Bethlehem is the risen Lord Jesus who offers us new life, a life we can share with others, and the hope of a world transformed by the love of God.

Bishop

The service was led by the Dean of Winchester, the Very Reverend Catherine Ogle.

dean catherine

Here’s a reminder of the Dean’s Christmas message, as printed in the December edition of ‘Winchester Today’:

“During December, here at the Cathedral, we’ll be welcoming many hundreds of people, young and old, to Advent and Christmas services.  The lights and colour of the Christmas market in the Close will brighten up short dull winter days and long, dark winter nights. It’s a beautiful season.

“I’m looking forward to singing my favourite Christmas carol, ‘O little town of Bethlehem’.  However often it crops up, I always love it, and am struck by the words in the first verse:

‘Yet in thy dark streets shineth,
​the everlasting Light.
​The hopes and fears of all the years
​are met in thee tonight.’

“I know that at this time of year, as well as hope and happiness, many of us feel a sense of poignancy about times past and sadness for those who are no longer here with us, and perhaps too a sense of anxiety about the future and what the New Year holds.

“The simple and stunning message of Christmas is that into all the complexity of joy and gladness, of fear and anxiety, God steps right in.  God wants to be with us so much, that he comes to be born as one of us, Emmanuel.  The new-born baby lights up the world with the ever-lasting light of love.

“May God bless you this Christmas and light up your life with His love, now and always.”

Images: Winchester Cathedral and Dilyara Gover.