The Expectation of Christmas

Published: 2nd January 2013

In his Christmas Day message, the Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Revd Jonathan Gledhill, talks of the expectation that comes with a Royal birth.

Looking at the comparison between the announcement of the Duchess of Cambridges pregnancy and that of the birth of Jesus 2,000 years ago, the Bishop warns that no one can live up to being so royal an heir to such heavy demands except God himself.

Wishing those throughout the Diocese a Happy Christmas Day, the Bishop says that Christmas is a time of expectation.

The coloured lights and Christmas trees are all up now to celebrate todays Royal Birth.

And it was with tidings of great joy all over the nation that the prospect of another Royal Birth was announced earlier this month. We find ourselves singing Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth,out of sheer thanksgiving for this extra piece of good news at the end of the Queen's Jubilee year.

A pause for thought also reminds us what enormous expectations we project on to both Royal Births even before a baby is born. No one can live up to being so royal an heir and to such heavy demands except perhaps God himself. Many of us also feel pressure at this time of year to live up to all sorts of other expectations the presents our children or grandchildren hope for, the tenderness of the turkey we roast or the choice of wine or ale we serve to guests.

But the Bishop concludes by reminding all that while expectations can weigh heavy we must not forget that this is a time or rejoicing and giving thanks.

The royal birth in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago didnt meet the expectations of the society into which Christ was born. From his birth in a barn until his execution like a criminal he never gave in to expectation, but showed care, love and pleasure to everyone he met. His announcement was that through his birth, death and resurrection, God welcomes all people, including those who dont live up to expectation. So if we have pleasure in the (latest) announcement let us also both commit to praying for the Royal Family and giving thanks to God for his gift of a Son and heir.

'A joyous and happy Christmas to you all'.

Page last updated: Wednesday 2nd January 2013 7:41 AM
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