Although Christmas will be very different for many of us this year, it’s certainly not cancelled. For Christ is born – and the world is forever changed!

The birth of Jesus is the good news we joyfully celebrate this season. This is the good news that unites us, even though we may be distanced from many we love. This is the good news that comforts us, for our God is Emmanuel (God with us) and we are never alone. This is the good news that delights us, for in a world hungry for love, we find love lying in the manger.

So make sure you join in an online church service on Christmas Day, like we have at The Belfrey in York. And if you can, find a few moments of space to pause, to be still, and to welcome the Lord Jesus into your home and heart. As you do that, why not pray, with me, this lovely prayer from the Swiss theologian Karl Barth:

O Sovereign God.

You have humbled yourself in order to exalt us. You became poor so that we might become rich. You came to us so that we can come to you. You took upon yourself our humanity in order to raise us to eternal life.

All this comes through your grace, free and unmerited; all this through your beloved Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

We are gathered here for prayer in knowledge of this mystery and this wonder.

We come to praise you, to proclaim and hear your word. We know that we have no strength to do so unless you make us free to lift our hearts and thoughts to you. Be present now in our midst, we pray.

Through your Holy Spirit open for us the way to come to you, that we may see with our own eyes your light which has come into the world, and then in the living of our lives become your witnesses.

Amen.

Share the wonder of the season. And as you do so, have a safe and deeply joy-filled Christmas.