Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

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This Christmas season, the problems of our world may seem to loom larger than ever.

Looking around us we see a world torn by armed conflict, hatred and fear. We see children drowning as their families flee from war zones. We see random terror attacks taking the lives of ordinary people. We see hunger, poverty and loneliness growing in our own communities.

How can we celebrate the birth of Christ when we see so much sorrow in the world?

Two thousand years ago, under the star of Bethlehem, a miraculous baby was born. And in the body of that weak and vulnerable infant, the baby Jesus, God came in love to earth.

Through Jesus’ birth, God sent his light into the world. In receiving by faith his wondrous gift, God promises to be with us every step of the way. One day he will make everything new.

The message of Christmas brings us hope, for in Jesus, we see God’s mission is one of forgiving, reconciling love.

The problems of the world might seem too big for us to solve. But by opening our hearts to God’s grace and love we can find strength act to make peace where we are and care for those whose lives touch ours.

So this Christmas, let’s by simple faith receive God’s gift of love and put that love to work in our own lives.

Why not reach out to an elderly neighbour and brighten their day through being with them, just as God is with us?

Practise forgiveness. Be thankful for everything good.

By living in God’s love revealed in Jesus, we will inevitably be transformed. Then we will see in our world the coming of the Kingdom of the Prince of Peace. To all of you, I wish a happy and peace-filled Christmas.