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The Word of God, the language of love

The Word of God, the language of love

The text of Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby’s Christmas sermon has been published. He preached on the morning of Christmas Day at Canterbury Cathedral.

“God’s love, expressed in the word of Jesus, is not a language of sentiment and cheap comfort but a language fit for the reality of a harsh world of oppression, of cruelty, of injustice and suffering. It has a vocabulary for passion, for anger, for protest at injustice and lament. It is the language of the whole of scripture. It is the language lived by Jesus, and it starts in the manger.”

God’s language of love

“encompasses every aspect of living, and every aspect of knowing God. Jesus the adult spoke it perfectly. The baby in the manger lives it flawlessly before He can speak a word, because by His mere existence He is the Word of God to us.

“It can be spoken by the generous and wealthy and powerful.

“It must be spoken by us on behalf of the persecuted, those farmers in the middle belt of Nigeria who speak God’s language of love in protest and lament as they suffer. One thousand and more killed this year alone. It must be spoken by us on behalf of the Christian communities of the middle east and around the world.

“And God speaks its words for the poor and suffering and oppressed in every place at every time.”

The entire sermon can be read here.

Image from the Canterbury Cathedral website.

More coverage of Church of England Christmas messages:

Religious leaders use Christmas messages to call for an end to hatred, tribalism and division,” The Independent

Archbishop of Canterbury urges UK to forget tribalism in Christmas sermon,” BBC

UK faith leaders warn against division in Christmas messages,” The Guardian

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