THE Bishop of Chichester has delivered his Christmas message on YouTube, in which he says the story of baby Jesus shows a way forward for a world full of ‘fear, division, injustice and conflict’.
In his message Dr Martin Warner reflects on his own visit to Bethlehem last month, accompanied by pilgrims from across his Diocese. “In a world full of division, where is wisdom to be found?” Dr Warner asks in the YouTube message.
The Bishop believes that Christmas reflects the restoring of the balance between God and creation.
He emphasised how important it is to rediscover a ‘capacity to be still’ and to reflect more fully on world events as important questions are faced.
He said: “One of the highlights of our pilgrimage (to the Middle East) was the constant sound of hearing local children playing.
“It was the children that spoke most clearly to us of the context in which they lived.
“The children spoke of division, fear, oppression – of occupation also – and we remember at this time that Jesus was also born into an occupied land.”
The Bishop stressed that the ongoing quest for peace between Israel and the Palestinians was, for him, partly understood by reflecting on the future for the children they saw along the way.
“What is going to become of these children?” he asks.
Wishing everyone in his Diocese, and the wider community, a happy and holy Christmas, Dr Warner said that true wisdom provides a way forward through all the complexities of the current world order.
The Bishop said that establishing the capacity to be still in the context of the ‘clamour of division’ is part of the essence of Christmas.