You can read the full transcript of the reflection below.
I've never been one of those Christians who had a great longing to visit the Holy Land. I have now been there once and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I think the reason I never had a great desire to go is because years ago I read this book by this wonderful eccentric, well, great, great, great social justice priest Stanley Evans. I think the book was called 'In Evening Dress to Calvary', and in it he writes: "the fact that I have never had any deep desire to go to Palestine and kneel at the site of the manger of Bethlehem, or rejoice at the Cana where the water was turned into wine, or tread the bitter road to Calvary, is simply a reflection of the fact that I've been brought up to realize that Bethlehem could be the outhouse of any pub, that all water can be made wine, and that there are Calvaries enough to spare in London and New York."
And we might add Leeds and Liverpool and Manchester and Middlesbrough and Hull. That Christ is born among us today, that we can find him and greet him and serve him in the events of today and what's happening in our nation and our world at the moment, that we can find hope by encountering Christ in these places, but also ministering to Christ and bringing hope to the Bethlehems and the calvaries of today. Why, we might even see Christ walking on the Ouse.
So, if there's something you want to pray for, something happening in our nation at the moment, something where you see a great injustice, where your heart cries out, please write and share that with me and we'll be offering your prayer here at Bishopthorpe and the Sisters of Whitby are praying with me, that we can find hope, the hope of the gospel, the presence of Christ for our nation today.
Anyone who wishes a prayer to be said for themselves or others, can send this in to Bishopthorpe Palace, where the Archbishop will pray, with support from The Order of the Holy Paraclete at Whitby.
If you would like to write your request for prayer, please post to: Prayers, Office of the Archbishop of York, Bishopthorpe Palace, Bishopthorpe, York YO23 2GE.
Please be aware that names may be shared with the Sisters of the Order of the Holy Paraclete in Whitby and that personal responses may not be possible.
Other prayer requests can be submitted anytime here