Archbishop of Canterbury to use Christmas Day sermon to highlight Gaza suffering

25/12/2023

Archbishop of Canterbury to use Christmas Day sermon to highlight Gaza suffering

The Archbishop of Canterbury will use his Christmas Day sermon to highlight the suffering of children caught up in the Israel-Hamas war.

Referring to Jesus Christ’s birthplace, which is now in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, the Most Rev Justin Welby will say “the skies of Bethlehem are full of fear rather than angels and glory”.

And he will compare the turbulent conditions of Jesus’s birth with the modern-day plight of children in the troubled region.

In his sermon at Canterbury Cathedral he will say: “Today a crying child is in a manger somewhere in the world, nobody willing or able to help his parents who desperately need shelter. Or in an incubator, in a hospital low on electricity, like Al-Ahli (hospital) in Gaza, surrounded by conflict.

“Maybe he lies in a house that still bears the marks of the horrors of October 7, with family members killed, and a mother who feared for her life.”

Also referring to Ukraine and Sudan, the Archbishop will say: “So many parts of the world seem beset with violence.”

He will say that a commitment to “serving, not in being served” was needed to resolve problems of climate change, terrorism, economic inequality and “the desperation and ambitions that drive more and more to migration”.

Jesus “confronts our cruelty with his compassion” and “responds to our selfishness with service”, Mr Welby will say.

The Archbishop conducted the coronation of the King and he will suggest Charles is following the example of Jesus in providing leadership through service.

“Two thousand years later, at a coronation, it seemed natural and right for a king in royal robes to answer a child, ‘I come not to be served, but to serve’ – and we know it to be his intention, the right way to be a king.”

The King is set to knight the Archbishop of Canterbury in the upcoming New Year Honours list, according to reports.

Published: by Radio NewsHub



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