I always enjoy meeting the Hampshire Church Leaders. They represent all the main Christian communities of our county.
This year, we are all very keen to show forth our unity and friendship with a united message of Christmas greetings.
So on behalf of us all, I wish everyone – above all you the readers - a very joyful Christmas!
These last few weeks, as we’ve entered winter, the weather in Portsmouth has been a bit gloomy, reminding me of my home near Manchester!
What is more, the days at this time of the year are short.
Christmas therefore is a welcome festival of lights and cheer.
Indeed, once the shortest day has passed, we can look forward to the longer and hopefully brighter days of the New Year.
What is happening in nature during this season is also happening to the human spirit, thanks to the birth of Jesus Christ, God the Son made man.
Christmas reminds us that, regardless of which religion, if any, we belong to, we are all brothers and sisters.
We are all creatures, children of God Who is our Father.
God has loved us so much that He sent His Only Son, Jesus Christ, to be our Saviour, and to offer us eternal life, the forgiveness of our sins, true happiness now and forever.
What is more, He has sent us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with peace and to help us live the new kind of life Jesus calls us to.
Christmas, then, is magical. It celebrates a new beginning for us and for human history. That is why we rejoice.
So I wish everyone a very Happy Christmas!
And let us remember at this season to pray and care for anyone on the margins, especially the homeless, the sick, the unemployed, the lonely and the needy, that they will experience in a real way the love and joy of the Birth of Christ.
God bless you all.