As the coronavirus outbreak continues we continue to feature regular video messages from the Bishops and Archdeacons on our Diocesan YouTube channel.
All messages have been well received and you can still view all the past messages on the channel here.
Today's weekly message is from The Venerable David Picken, Archdeacon of Lancaster, and the full text can be read below the embedded video. You can also download it for printing here.
We know of many parishes providing information in printed form and sending via Royal Mail to parishioners who are not able to get online. If your parish is doing that, why not add these weekly messages to your future mailings?
The other day we were in one of the posher garden centres near where we live, and they put out a beautiful array of materials and decorations that were, room by room, the start of their Christmas displays.
This is not going to be one of those talks where you start railing about ‘goodness – already? It’s September!’ Far from it. It was beautifully done. Actually, and interestingly, it came just a day or two before the headlines ‘Christmas is cancelled this year’, in the light of the restrictions that face us all.
Well, Christmas is not cancelled this year or any year. As you can see behind me the message of Christmas remains strong and clear. The Christmas message, and Christmas will not be cancelled this year, is that God is with us whatever circumstances we face. Whatever trials and tribulations, joys and celebrations we may have, Jesus Christ, the one whom around the whole of history pivots, is with us and is present to us, and is here yesterday, today and for ever. And so Christmas isn’t cancelled this year.
But what I’d like to do, is to use this opportunity to encourage folks across our Diocese to think about just how we, together, are going to make sure that we proclaim very clearly that Christmas isn’t cancelled this year. People may not be able to have their Christmas parties; people may not be able to have their works do’s; carol services may be restricted. Lots of things we usually do at Christmas time may this year yet prove to be somewhat restricted. But Christmas isn’t cancelled - because Jesus Christ, the word made flesh, came and dwelt amongst us and showed us how to live; and is still present in every sense that matters here today.
So how will we as Christian people and as the church in this Diocese going to effectively and clearly tell the world over the next few months and most of course especially towards the end of December, that Christmas isn’t cancelled this year? And like that garden centre, how are we going to show clearly and effectively, and proclaim the good news that Jesus Christ, the word made flesh, dwelt amongst us? And that we have beheld his glory, the glory which continues to live out through the good news of Jesus Christ in the world.
The Venerable David Picken
Archdeacon of Lancaster