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Transforming the communities of Essex & East London through Christ’s presence

Bishop’s Christmas Day sermon: Are we listening to the angels?

In his Christmas sermon for 2014 Stephen Cottrell, the Bishop of Chelmsford, reflects on the football match and truce at Christmas 1914, during the First World War, when British and German soldiers climbed from their trenches and reached out to one another.

“Did they,” he wonders, “just for a moment, hear angels singing? After all, on that first Christmas night Luke tells us the sky was filled with angels; and their song was all of peace. And it is quite reasonable, and altogether sensible, to say that ‘even if angels sang that night, they are not singing today’, except it might just be we aren’t listening…

“…Let us listen carefully. Angels are singing: ‘Glory to God in the highest, Peace to his people on earth’. They say there is another way of inhabiting this world. A way of peace. It can be found. Not in human wisdom or human strength, but in a child, wrapped in swaddling bands and lying in a manger.” 

Read Bishop Stephen’s sermon.

This sermon has been released in ten tweets. Follow Bishop Stephen on Twitter @CottrellStephen and the Diocese of Chelmsford @chelmsdio.

Listen to the Bishop and other church leaders talking about the real meaning of Christmas. Bishop Stephen's message is third on the playlist.

Join in the conversation about the meaning of Christmas on Twitter using the hashtag #ChristmasMeans.