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Focus on What's Real and Right

Monday 10th December 2012

The Archbishop of York today delivered the Pause For Thought on the Radio 2 Chris Evans Breakfast Show. He spoke about a letter he had received from a primary school in Manchester, the preparations of Christmas and St Paul's letter to a church in Philippi. The text of his Pause For Thought follows.

When I was here in November, I told you about the letters I get from children from the School of the Resurrection, a primary school in Manchester. I have just heard again from Stella who was very excited to hear her school mentioned on the Chris Evans show!  She sent me a card and said, “I was jumping for joy and excitement.  I had never heard my name mentioned in such a special way. It made me feel glad to be me”.  Like Stella, we can all know that kind of excitement of being special, because Jesus calls each one of us by name. We are written in his book of life – which is even better than being on the radio – wonderful though that is!

Stella’s school, like so many others at this time, is preparing to enjoy Christmas through singing carols and telling the story of Jesus’ birth. We are all looking forward to that time of celebration as we journey through the weeks of Advent. And as we do so, we need to make sure that Christ is at the centre of all we do.

When St Paul wrote a letter to a church he knew in Philippi, he encouraged them to make sure that they focussed their attention carefully on what is real as opposed to the phony; right as opposed to what is convenient; loving as opposed to hating; what is excellent as opposed to what is inferior.  Think positively as opposed to negatively. To rejoice in God and give thanks all the time.

And Advent and Christmas is a wonderful season to be practising this!

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