God is with us on our jour­ney through life

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

AS I WRITE this mes­sage, the news both on tele­vi­sion and in our news­pa­pers is all about the dif­fi­culty of travel. Some­how the win­ter has taken us all by sur­prise and, whether it is blocked roads or frozen trains or closed air­ports, travel seems to be a ma­jor con­cern. Three weeks of Ad­vent ser­vices all tell, in carol af­ter carol, of frosty winds and snow, and chilly and un­com­fort­able jour­neys taken by Mary and Joseph, by shep­herds com­ing down from the hills, and wise men fol­low­ing a star to the place of the Christ child’s birth. Christ­mas in our minds is a comfortable fes­ti­val of fam­i­lies and friends at home, far re­moved from those who have had to spend nights un­com­fort­ably on benches in an air­port lounge or hours in their cars. Yet in truth the story is about all those things, about hu­man love and com­pan­ion­ship and about the joy­ful birth of a baby, about gifts and an­gelic mu­sic de­spite the dis­com­fort of travel and the makeshift cra­dle be­cause there was no room in the inn. We greet this sea­son with joy be­cause it con­nects to our hu­man sit­u­a­tion, but it is all the more joy­ful be­cause it says more than that. In the present of the Christ child it pro­claims that it is God who con­nects with our hu­man sit­u­a­tion and shares it with us, bring­ing love and com­pan­ion­ship not just at Christ­mas time but all through the hu­man year. A very happy Christ­mas to you all.

by Robert Willis, Dean of Can­ter­bury

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