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A Christmas Message from the Archbishop of York

Radio Times Christmas Edition

Monday 16th December 2013

The Archbishop of York writes a Christmas message for the Radio Times Christmas Edition. His article follows in full….

I love everything about Christmas, especially the build up: the waiting, anticipating, and patiently hoping for something wonderful to happen.  
But, Christmas is not just about escaping the harsh realities of life for a day or two by watching Dr Who or The Great British Bake Off, however much we may like doing this.  For me getting ready for Christmas is about getting ready to listen, being ready to change, taking on something life-giving and life-transforming.
Rather than ‘Sorry I spent it all on myself’, life’s persistent and urgent question for all of us should surely be: “What are we doing for others?”
This year, 2013, we remembered that 50 years ago Martin Luther King delivered his spine-tingling ‘I have a dream’ speech, which was instrumental in facilitating the passing of the Civil Rights Act in 1964.  To be a great leader such as King, you have to love, you have to set an example, you have to take action, and you have to dream – not about yourself, but about a future shaped by love. You have to have that vision and belief that you can make it better.  But we remember too, that it was also the courage and resolve of a single woman that got the ball rolling – Rosa Parkes.  
I often remind people that having an active faith is about being bold enough to take the first step, being a trailblazer and letting others follow in your path.  It takes courage, it takes a yearning to make a difference, and it requires real love to bring lasting transformation.
But what inspires people to want to show love in action, to help others and to make a difference to their lives?
I believe it comes from the greatest example of love in action that the world has ever seen. The gift, God’s love that took on our very nature, is Jesus Christ. He lived among us, and demonstrated - in a way we could understand – God’s total love for us.  When we know we are loved, we find it easier to love other people.
So this Christmas, don’t wait to try something new and don’t be fearful.   I follow Jesus, and His teachings help me to live life in all its fullness. Whether you have faith, or none at all, this message should be something we all aspire to do!


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