The Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham’s Christmas Sermon in Southwell Minster

In a sermon given at the Midnight service in Southwell Minster, Bishop Paul spoke about the shining hope held out in the events of the first Christmas. Reflecting on the intense challenges of the past year, Bishop Paul said: “Christmas 2020 will not be one we easily forget. It is not only the sudden drop in temperature that makes it feel a rather bleak midwinter. There will be a fair few who feel this Christmas has lost its shine before the day even gets started. Yet the story we participate in this holy night has all the shine needed for two thousand Christmases and more. It has been celebrated in times of national testing and personal tragedy.”

Bishop Paul went on to reflect on the story of angels appearing to the shepherds, saying “They had little idea this would become the most famous night in history. They would have a walk on part in the birth of the Saviour of the world and see with their own eyes the glory of God revealed in the face of the Christ child.”

Bishop Paul also expressed gratitude for those who over Christmas will continue to care for the sick and the dying in hospitals, care homes and the community. He said, “Their heroic service has been an inspiration these past months. May it also inspire us to greater acts of kindness and compassion in the days to come, so that our future as a nation is not defined by trade deals or hard borders but by the virtues and values that are signs of God’s Kingdom, into which all are invited to come through the love of Christ our Saviour.”

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