The Rt Revd Paul Bayes has delivered his first Christmas sermon as Bishop of Liverpool at Liverpool Cathedral. In his sermon he reflecedt on what it means to believe in a God who chose to come and live among us.
Reflecting on witnessing a woman PC guarding the crime scene in Colquitt Street, Bishop Paul contemplates what that means in a city where PC Neil Doyle was fatally beaten. Where “vengeance and anger broke out and where evil lifted its ugly head and laughed, a scorched land of fierce colour, crusted buildings cast their shadows.” Noting that evil and pain are real and can’t be wrapped in Christmas paper the bishop argues this is where God chose to be because “this beautiful world is marred by anger and violence, it needs to be redeemed”
Bishop Paul contends that Jesus chose to be among the poor and impoverished to stand alongside the people he loves. “Let me go there, not to a palace but to a poor stable, let me stand with them, let me go to that hill with them, let me feed them with my word and with my life, let me nourish their thin arms, let me give them hope in their waiting, let me die for them, I love them so.”
And that is what the Christmas story offers us today a story where “Jesus stands in Colquitt Street with that young woman officer, Jesus sits with Sarah Doyle and her family, he sits with those families in Peshawar and in Australia, Jesus sits with you and your family, Jesus stood in Hillsborough among the crowd. Jesus sits beside you at your Christmas table”