Bishop of Coventry's Christmas Message 2022

We have a Ukrainian family staying with us. They’re from Bucha, the town the Russian army occupied and committed despicable atrocities. We’ve been looking forward to giving them some moments of joy at Christmas, a break from the worries that are breaking their hearts. But they’ve chosen to spend Christmas nearer to home. The children have been reunited with family and their mother has returned to Ukraine with her husband. Driving in the freezing conditions through multiple checkpoints, they’re taking generators back to Bucha to bring light into the deep darkness a country at war, with its power stations destroyed.

God came to the world in Jesus Christ at the first Christmas to bring light to our darkness. ‘I am the light of the world’, said Jesus, ‘a light no darkness can overcome’. God came to us in Jesus not only a generator of light – the light of love and truth, kindness and mercy. He came as the Source of light – the One who said at the beginning of all things: ‘Let there be light!’.

That’s the promise and power of Christmas! Whatever darkness we find ourselves plunged into – the darkness of conflict, the darkness of financial strain, the darkness that comes with breakdowns in health and relationships – the light of God has come, to lighten our darkness.

I know that even in the darkness of war, Ukrainian people are finding the Light of God in their midst. May we do the same.

First published on: 19th December 2022
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