Bishop of Worcester's Christmas message

THE Bishop of Worcester, Dr John Inge, has issued a Christmas message.

He said: "It’s often said that there’s something magical about Christmas, that it has a fairy tale quality to it. However, the greatest thing about Christmas is that it is celebrating a real event, not an imaginary one. And that particular event should lift the spirits more than anything else. Why? Because behind the birth of Jesus which we celebrate at Christmas lies the greatest truth we shall ever encounter – that the God who made us, the God who flung stars into space and created the whole universe out of nothing, is the same God loves you and me more than we can possibly imagine.

"That’s what he sent Jesus to tell us by his birth, tell us by his life, tell us by his teaching, tell us by his death and tell us by his resurrection. It’s a simple truth but it’s a profound one: you are loved. You are part not of a cosmic accident, nor of a fairy tale nor of a magic show but of the greatest love story ever.

"So, if despite the fun of Christmas this year you are possessed by doubts, worries, pain or anxiety, let the profound message of Christmas reach deep into your heart. You are loved – infinitely, gloriously, wonderfully and eternally loved. And nothing, but nothing, will be able to come between you and that love if you choose to receive it.

"There are many in our community who are in desperate need of human care and compassion as well as divine love this Christmas. The number of people and families being fed by the Worcester Foodbank, which is run by the church, has more than doubled in the last year. Around 40-50 people and families are being fed each day at present – I know that other foodbanks around Worcestershire and Dudley have also seen increases.

Those who started the Foodbank are people who have been gripped by God’s love and have responded to it wholeheartedly. They are grateful for how much they have been given and are impelled, as a result, to reach out to others. May we all be touched by God’s great love in Jesus this Christmas and, as a result, be enabled to show that same love to those who most need it."

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