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The Queen's Christmas Message

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The Queen's Christmas message was wonderful.

Accompanied by many images from around the world as she spoke, The Queen was inspired by the 'remarkable resilience of the human spirit' and how the people of communities facing terrible adversity reached out to help each other. She spoke happily of the friendship which after great sorrow and forgiveness has blossomed between the United Kingdom and Ireland and of the 53 nations of the Commonwealth.

She spoke of the joys of family and paid tribute to the Armed Forces and their families. And she infused all this with the radiance of her concluding words:

Finding hope in adversity is one of the themes of Christmas. Jesus was born into a world full of fear. The angels came to frightened shepherds with hope in their voices: 'Fear not', they urged, 'we bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

'For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour who is Christ the Lord.'

Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves - from our recklessness or our greed.

God sent into the world a unique person - neither a philosopher nor a general, important though they are, but a Saviour, with the power to forgive.

Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It can heal broken families, it can restore friendships and it can reconcile divided communities. It is in forgiveness that we feel the power of God's love.

In the last verse of this beautiful carol, O Little Town Of Bethlehem, there's a prayer:

O Holy Child of Bethlehem,

Descend to us we pray.

Cast out our sin

And enter in.

Be born in us today.

It is my prayer that on this Christmas day we might all find room in our lives for the message of the angels and for the love of God through Christ our Lord.

I wish you all a very happy Christmas."

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