A Christmas message from Bishop David: Spaced Out

Earth from outer space









Hear and see the message


Bishop DavidA British man Tim Peake was rocketed out of the Earth’s atmosphere on 15th December to join the International Space Station. Earlier in the autumn a dramatic film showed Matt Damon abandoned on a faraway planet where he had to survive from scratch.

Too much space can be bewildering and way beyond our comfort zone. Not many of us want that amount of adventure or risk.

It is so much easier to dwell in the familiar, predictable spaces, keep to a set routine, and fill up the gaps in our static existence with consumer clutter and computer cacophony.

Even Christmas and New Year can come and go in the same old way.

Of course the impending arrival of a 21st Century baby, here and now, rather than the memory of the 1st Century infant Jesus, makes us rethink our assumptions.

Clearing a space in the house and the lives of the parents is at once exciting and daunting. Change is in the air.

The space created by Joseph and Mary for the baby Jesus in Bethlehem revealed multiple vulnerability: they were unmarried parents, a homeless family about to become refugees and receiving murderous threats against their child from the Governor of the State.

The news of this baby also caused disturbance in many other people from shepherds to Magi. They had to make space in their lives to come and see and ask what the meaning of this birth was.

Do you remember the first view of earth photographed from behind the moon in 1969? We were able to see our human home from a completely different perspective. Mercifully we are not cooped up in the Space Station for the next six months so let us use our freedom to make space on earth for practical action: for a beautiful fragile creation that we need to sustain using the Paris COPT21 guidelines; in a world torn by violence and destitution that desperately needs courageous peacemakers especially in Syria and the Levant; facing inequalities even our own city region that need sacrificial economic and political solutions.

As we enter a new year let us make space in our lives afresh for Jesus. Space to pray and read the Bible, space to ask difficult questions, space for renewed relationships, space to enter into and experience the suffering of the world, space to act with compassion, space to enjoy the freedom of worship with the people of God.

‘For God alone my soul in silence waits, from Him comes my salvation’

(Psalm 62:1)

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The Rt Revd David Urquhart




23rd Dec 2015 Posted in: News by Stella Jennings 0

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