People 

Site Search
Twitter-button  facebookbutton

 

Sign up for our
free e-newsletter


Send us your latest local news and events

 Latest News 
Loading...

Christmas – more than just an idea! 

ChristmasSceneBishop Alan Hopes reflects on the Christian approach to Christmas.

 
Christmas, like every other great feast in the Church’s calendar, is not based on a philosophy or an idea, but on an historical event:  God actually became man for the love of us. The Apostle John wrote:

Something which has existed since the beginning, that we have heard and we have seen with our own eyes, that we have watched and touched with our hands… we are giving our testimony. (1 John 1: 1-3)
 
As Christians, we are the successors of this apostolic testimony. The weary world around us has heard rumour of it, and we are here to say, “Yes, it’s true! God really has been here!”
 
Without this event, nothing at all would be different. History would remain a perpetual defeat. The best policies and aspirations of countless centuries could not remove the burden of iniquity that Adam and Eve laid on the human race by their decisive rebellion. But the birth of the infant Christ – and his subsequent life, death, resurrection and ascension – has taken that burden and smashed it to pieces. The Fall of Adam is broken by the fact of God taking flesh.
 
This is why the Christian approach to Christmas is so much more real than the remnants of that festival celebrated by modern society. For us, it is not a socially-constructed, historically-determined opinion, for which we happen to have a certain nostalgia and which is a convenient pretext for a midwinter holiday. Rather, this feast reminds us of what has actually taken place.
 
And because it is real, its effect on us must be real. We must be fashioned after this feast - different people than we would otherwise be. The whole history of the Church is based on this logic: in the wake of the manger, sinners become saints, and cynics become witnesses!


BishopAlanHopes 150Rt Rev Alan Hopes is the Catholic Bishop of East Anglia.


 

The views carried here are those of the author, not of Network Norwich and Norfolk, and are intended to stimulate constructive debate between website users. 
 
We welcome your thoughts and comments, posted below, upon the ideas expressed here. 
 
Click here to read our forum and comment posting guidelines.

Do you appreciate our service and stories?

The Network Norwich & Norfolk website has been published for over 13 years now and we have an established team of professional journalists covering the activities, organisations and churches which make up the county’s Christian community. Our whole purpose is to support that community by daily providing accurate, unbiased stories and features.

To pay for that service, we rely on our partner organisations, advertisers and readers to, in turn, support us financially. We want to keep the website free for everyone to access and continue to be able to pay for writers to produce the content you can enjoy every day.

We would like to ask you to consider supporting our work and suggest you might want to make a small regular donation of just £1 a week and become one of our 100 Friends, or a larger one-off or annual amount.

Because we are part of a registered charity we can reclaim Gift Aid on your donations if you are a tax-payer.

Click here to fill out a standing order form and to add an extra 25% for free via Gift Aid

Click below to donate instantly via a credit or debit card or Paypal


 Recommended reading 

 

email envelope

Read more stories like this... Register to receive our bi-weekly email newsletter

Network Norwich and Norfolk > People > Opinion > Christmas – more than just an idea! 

 Norfolk services........ 

 Accommodation......... 


Loading...