Prepare for life after Christmas than on life at Christmas!

My dear brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ,

Welcome to the Bishop’s Blog!
Not long now. Just a few more sleeps . . . for those who can sleep . . . .  and before we know it we’ll be the other side of the festive season. I wonder if our emphasis should be more on preparing for life after Christmas than on life at Christmas. It’s all very well making a fuss for a ‘one-off’ occasion, but Jesus brings lasting joy. So, we have a job to do of extending the Grace of Christmas beyond the Feast of Christmas.The superficial things like decorations and trees and lights can come down. We need to look deeper for what should last. Two simple clues are given as we profess our Faith in Jesus Christ, Son of God, Son of Mary, the Divine and the human natures. Beyond the Feast we can extend the Grace by continuing to look at God in prayer and worship, and look at our fellow creatures with respect and active charity.At the heart of the Christmas message is St. John’s phrase, ‘The Word took flesh; He dwelt amongst us.’ The truth is that this happened not when Christ was born but when He was conceived, nine months earlier. That’s why the Church’s new year used to be the 25th March on the Solemnity of the Annunciation.Let us pray for our unborn babies. They are part of our society. They exist as human being, and can be counted amongst the most vulnerable. How tragic it is that society can be so concerned about pregnancy loss and yet can sanction the termination of tens of thousands of unborn children. Is there any other species on the planet that is as destructive of itself, and of its most defenseless members?Covid is only one threat to life in a world where many threats exist. As we do all we can to protect lives from one particular threat, the pandemic, may we be brought to see far greater threats that appear to have the blessing of society.

With my prayers and blessing for each of you,





Paul Swarbrick

Bishop of Lancaster