‘GLORY to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth’

That’s the message of the angels; that’s the message of Christmas.

There doesn’t seem to be a great deal of peace around at the moment. The world is full of conflict and, after a divisive General Election, we desperately need to move forward in unity and peace. What can be done?

When the shepherds heard the message of the angels they were filled with awe and wonder as they realised that heaven had come down to earth. Maybe we need to recover their sense of awe and wonder if we are to get things in proper proportion and find the peace the angels heralded.

In the psalms we read: ‘The heavens declared the glory of God’. They do, if we will but see it. Our universe is vast and beautiful; the shepherds would have been able to marvel at the night sky without light pollution. This world in all its beauty fills me with a sense of wonder. And perhaps the most wonderful thing of all are human beings. A new-born baby instils a sense of awe – and so it should, for we are all made in the image of God.

‘Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth.’ Appreciating the glory of God in both the highest heaven and the new-born baby can bring peace in our hearts. I pray it may also lead to peace in our communities, our country and the world.

May you be filled with a sense of awe and wonder this Christmas as you contemplate the glory of the creation into which Christ was born. And may you be filled with his peace and his love.

God bless you and a very Merry Christmas to you.

The Bishop of Worcester - Dr John Inge