Queen Elizabeth II gave her Christmas address to the Commonwealth yesterday.
Speaking warmly of the holiday traditions of home and family, she paid tribute to the victims of terror attacks in Manchester and London, as well as those whose homes were devastated by storms in the Caribbean this autumn, and the many people whose work it is to help those who find themselves in crisis, adding,
We are indebted to members of the emergency services who risked their own lives, this past year, saving others. Many of them, of course, will not be at home today because they are working, to protect us. …
Reflecting on her long decades of marriage, family, and the unusual home life of a monarch, the Queen told how she found inspiration and encouragement in the love of Jesus.
Today we celebrate Christmas, which itself is sometimes described as a festival of the home. Families travel long distances to be together. Volunteers and charities, as well as many churches, arrange meals for the homeless and those who would otherwise be alone on Christmas Day. We remember the birth of Jesus Christ whose only sanctuary was a stable in Bethlehem. He knew rejection, hardship and persecution; and yet it is Jesus Christ’s generous love and example which has inspired me through good times and bad.
Whatever your own experiences this year; wherever and however you are watching, I wish you a peaceful and very happy Christmas.
A transcript of the Queen’s 2017 Christmas message is available here.
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