The President of the Methodist Church in Britain has challenged people to look beyond the romanticism of the Christmas story in search of the reality - which includes confronting a world of division and injustice.
The Rev David Gamble said Christmas was actually much more about the actual world now than it was about a lovely story of far off places in far off times.
“It's about a young unmarried mother,” he said. “And our country has the highest rate of teenage pregnancies in the European Union. It’s about a homeless couple and their young child out in the cold. Look on the streets of our cities. Think of the television pictures of refugees.”
The Methodist president asked people to consider the hungry, the hurting, the oppressed and the abused this Christmas.
“That's the central part of the Christmas message,” he said. “God is with us. And behind and within the lovely Christmas story is the truth of God with us in our world and in our lives.”
An extended excerpt from David Gamble's message can be found on Ekklesia here: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/10906