CHRISTMAS MESSAGE: Leo CushleyArchbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh
And is it true,
This most tremendous tale of all,
Seen in a stained-glass window’s hue,
A baby in an ox’s stall?
The maker of the stars and sea
Become a child on earth for me?
That most sublime, most suburban of modern English poets, John Betjeman, published his verse entitled Christmas in 1958.
That same year, Scotland declared December 25 a public holiday for the first time in nearly 400 years.
Since then, our nation seems to have lustily embraced all that the Yuletide brings, both sacred and profane.
Scotland loves Christmas.
As Betjeman suggests, the audacious proposition of Christmas is that humanity’s perennial search for God is more than surpassed by God’s search for humanity.
Hence we currently inhabit the season known as Advent, preparing us for the Adventus Domini or coming of the Lord.
And yet, and yet, we should not let the profound and beautiful symbolism of this preparatory season obscure a more profound and more beautiful truth – the coming of the Lord is a daily encounter, a daily opportunity to embrace the love, joy, peace that is life with Jesus Christ.
Yes, the Lord came as a babe in Bethlehem, but he also comes seeking each of us every day, beckoning each and every soul towards the loving shelter of his divine heart; and he will come again with mercy and justice at the conclusion of our earthly life and, ultimately, at the consummation of time.
Thus Christ calls us here and now.
Thus every day is an advent.
May you, your family and all your loved ones have a very happy, holy and peaceful Christmas and a guid new year when it comes.