Christmas message from Moderator of Church of Scotland

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The Right Reverend Albert Bogle, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland’s Christmas message:

I think Christmas is a season of contradictions, isn’t it? I mean we can have some wonderful memories of past times, while living through a nightmare.

It can just hit you when you least expect it. The smell of cinnamon, Christmas tree lights and carols being sung as we do our Christmas shopping, can all remind of us someone who is no longer here or who we have lost touch with. We feel the churning of the stomach as we remember what has been lost.

And yet, through of all this, in all the confusion, people still seek a meaning to it all and through the mystery and truth of it all, are drawn to worship.

Perhaps, the first Christmas was more about stomachs churning than stomachs being filled with turkey. It is a story of a young mother anxious about the birth of her child, wondering where and how it will be born, and wondering did she really speak to an angel.

The Christmas story speaks of uncertainty, intrigue and mystery, of philosophers reaching beyond the stars trying to understand ancient prophecies. Soldiers carrying out atrocities on children to secure power for a puppet king and of shepherds believing the unbelievable, are all part of the Christmas story.

This still rings true today. We are living in troubled times. More of us than we can imagine will have that feeling of stomachs churning this Christmas. One-in-five children are living in poverty there are some elderly people who have to choose between having the heating on or not in the winter months or having a hot meal. We have men and women serving with the armed forces in Afghanistan away from their families this Christmas. And yet, through of all this, in all the confusion, people still seek a meaning to it all and through the mystery and truth of it all, are drawn to worship.

I have come to see the significance of Christmas is not about the smell of cinnamon and gobbling turkey, the Christmas tree lights, or even the presents. These are signposts on the way inviting us to go deeper to experience what it means to carry a promise.

I have come to see the significance of Christmas is not about the smell of cinnamon and gobbling turkey, the Christmas tree lights, or even the presents. These are signposts on the way inviting us to go deeper to experience what it means to carry a promise.

To live life believing all well be well, to know that God is with us, and that we will never be alone. That is the greatest comfort of all. God has visited our planet and invites us to be his friend.

This Christmas, why not rediscover for yourself the hope of Christmas. Turn again to these ancient texts and discover the Saviour has come to redeem your life. Allow the Holy Spirit to heal the part of you that feels broken. Encounter the peace of forgiveness and discover the promise of Christmas for yourself.