Provincial press releases

Archbishop’s Christmas message

Find time to be still and to reflect on how you can make a difference to others, says the Archbishop of Wales, John Davies, in his Christmas message.

Because they are still familiar to many of us, the words of some better-known traditional Christmas carols don’t always have the impact which they might. Let me, then, encourage you to reflect on just one word and a couple of short sentences from two of them. The first is ‘It came upon a midnight clear’; the second, ‘O little town of Bethlehem’.

From the first, that one word is ‘hush’; from the second the sentences are ‘O holy child of Bethlehem … be born in us today’.

One of the things that surely must impact on all of us in the preparations for Christmas and the New Year is noise: noise in places like the streets, the shops, the school, the pub, and just about everywhere else. So please reflect on just how beautifully refreshing stillness can be when the noise stops. There are times when we all need a bit of hush! Find those times to be still; try to get your bit of hush. And, when you succeed, use the stillness and use the hush to remember what lies at the heart of the Christmas story: the birth of Jesus, a child born into poverty and need, soon to become a refugee, and later to be rejected for doing nothing more sinister and nothing more challenging than teaching about the vital importance of things like justice and truth, generosity and compassion, love and forgiveness.

Then, having remembered, move on and, in the stillness, in your hush time, reflect on the words, ‘O holy child of Bethlehem, be born in us today’, and remember, whether you are religious or not, your own personal capacity to be the agents of and ambassadors for those lovely things about which Jesus taught. They are things which many cry out for, things which millions long for, and things which we all need, both for our own individual good and for the good of the world and its communities. Allow his universal teaching and his generous example to be born in you today, and to become real in your own words and deeds every day.

None of us should underestimate the power we have to make a difference – every act of compassion, every deed of generosity, every loving and forgiving act changes the world for someone and for the better.

So, find some hush time, and let the holy child be born in you. I wish you the peace and hope of Christmas and the strength to make a difference in 2019.

Archbishop John will be preaching at Brecon Cathedral on Christmas Day. The service begins at 11am and all are welcome. More information