Nativity scene 3a
Meditation and Reflection

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us

 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.. Through him all things were made.. In him was life.. the light of all mankind.. The light shines in the darkness.. The true light that gives light to everyone.. We have seen his glory.. full of grace and truth.

The birth of the Son of God was heralded by the angel of the Lord, accompanied by the shekinah, the glory of God, and was followed by a multitude of the heavenly host singing praises. And for whose benefit was this magnificent display? Kings? Presidents? Politicians? Religious leaders?

No, it was all for a few lowly shepherds – humble, poor, obscure and unnamed rustics of whom nothing more is heard in Scripture thereafter.

While today’s puffed-up prelates court the wealthy, famous and influential, so today’s wealthy, famous and influential seek out the private chapels and grand palaces of these prelates as the perfect stage for their displays of religiosity. But not these shepherds. No, the Lord deemed them worthy because they were lowly. They were not body-beautiful celebrities, gifted communicators, powerful decision makers or authoritative opinion-formers. They were simply ordinary men, and the Lord chose them to be among the first to know that the Christ was born; the Messiah had entered history; the Son of God had come to redeem mankind – Immanuel. God became One with us so that we could become one with Him. This is the miracle of salvation.

Some will today reflect on the Prime Minister’s theo-political Christmas Message:

..security.. family.. refugee camps.. Daesh.. persecution.. doctors, nurses, carers and volunteers.. brave armed forces..

It is because they face danger that we have peace. And that is what we mark today as we celebrate the birth of God’s only son, Jesus Christ – the Prince of Peace. As a Christian country, we must remember what his birth represents: peace, mercy, goodwill and, above all, hope. I believe that we should also reflect on the fact that it is because of these important religious roots and Christian values that Britain has been such a successful home to people of all faiths and none…

That’s nice. But it’s a relief to know that one day the Government will be upon another shoulder, and David Cameron (and his successors) will step aside (or be forced to). The real deliverer and the real fulfilment of the needs of humanity is human; one of us, flesh of our flesh. He is born to rule, born to be a king, conceived of the house and lineage of David. His name is Wonderful – a mystery of divinity in humanity; Counsellor – the oracle of wisdom; the mighty God – the Word was not just with God, but was God; the Everlasting Father – not the same person as the Father, but of one substance with the Father; the Prince of Peace – bringing a peace that passes understanding.

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Christmas Message:

..Shepherds.. God.. vision.. life-transforming and life-giving.. mysteries.. incarnation.. simplicity.. war and suffering.. desperate and hungry.. Jesus himself was carried by anxious parents to the safety of another land.

..we are called back to the simplicity of the Incarnation. Jesus identified himself completely with the poorest and the most broken of the Earth. Those who are lost in our world today seek the simplicity and beauty of that gift, which as we identify together unites us in adoration of the God who gave his only son.

No matter what evil stalks the world or suffering befalls us, there is a hope. Man will live forevermore because of Christmas Day. A joyful, peaceful and blessed Christmas to all regular communicants, intermittent guests and occasional readers – a vast virtual congregation which is loved and welcome here everyday. May you find strength and hope, and may the hearts of many receive the blessed truth of the birth of the Saviour. Merry Christmas one and all!

  • David

    What a truly wonderful message here heralding Christmas Eve. Thank you for it. It skilfully weaves together the very, warm, earthy and human scenes of the circumstances surrounding Jesus’ birth, from the Gospel of Luke, with the lofty, soaring, poetic words of the first fourteen verses of John’s Gospel, The Prologue; then this uplifting spiritual feast is then brought into contact with our present circumstances, as indeed it has always meant to be, as Emmanuel, God with us – is forevermore, as Our Saviour, Lord and unfaltering guide, in this world and the next ! Glory Be to God ! He is Born !

  • seansaighdeoir

    And a Happy Christmas to you too Cranmer and also to your congregation.

  • Dreadnaught

    peace, mercy, goodwill and, above all, hope.

    Without doubt, a year round message for sane minds everywhere. Thanks you for all your hard work in keeping this blog vibrant, varied and relevant. Merry Christmas to you Cranny.

  • Archbishop, a very happy and peaceful Christmas to you, Gillian and the motley crew and passengers of the Good Ship Cranmer.

    • dannybhoy

      Nice to see you back Jack!
      May I extend to one and all here my best wishes for a joyful and peaceful Christmas.

      • Thank you Dannybhoy. Treatment completed and in my local hospital now recovering from its rather severe effects.
        Also a big thank you to IanCad, Explorer and you for the cards and encouraging words.

        • magnolia

          Great to see you back. That has improved all our Christmas Eves. Continued prayers, and hope you have a super Christmas.

          • Thank you and God Bless you, Magnolia.

        • Martin

          HJ

          Glad you’re back & a bit better, may it continue.

        • dannybhoy

          Jack, have a lovely Christmas, and a speedy return to home and hearth.

    • Pubcrawler

      Yay, welcome back!!

      • Thanks, Pubcrawler. It’s good to be back.

    • Sam

      Welcome back dude. As you can see I’ve matched your yellow avatar with a yellow version of my own as a mark of respect. Here’s a prayer for a swift recovery.

      • Thanks, Sam.

        • Sam

          Dude

          Just to cheer you up :

          Q: How can you tell if someone is half Catholic and half Jewish?

          A: When he goes to confession, he takes a lawyer with him

          Q: How do Jews celebrate Christmas?

          A: we install a parking meter on the roof.

    • carl jacobs

      Merry Christmas, Jack. Good to see you’ve come through to the other side of this circumstance. We have missed you. And not just because we enjoy playing paddle ball with your arguments. 😉

      So you will be in the hospital through Christmas then?

      • Thank you Carl – it’s good to be back too.

        Sadly I’ll be in hospital for some time to come but am allowed home for 4 hours tomorrow. Moved to my local hospital 2 weeks ago, after the treatment was completed, so friends and family are able to visit. It will be a strange experience tomorrow as my home represents a life that seems strangely distant at the moment.

        God Bless and a Joyful Christmas to you and yours.

        • sarky

          Have a fantastic one Jack, it may not seem like it at the moment, but things will get back to normal 🙂

          • I know Sarky. Wishing you and your loved ones a joyful Christmas.

    • Cressida de Nova

      Best Christmas present to see you back again . A Happy and Holy Christmas to you and yours. You are in our prayers.
      Joyeux Noel to Cranmer, Gillan and all the Cranmerites, especially the francophiles:)

      • Thanks Cressie and Jack wishes you and your loved ones a Joyful and Peaceful Christmas.

    • IanCad

      Great to see you back again Jack.
      Enjoy the four hours at home tomorrow.
      Chin Up!! Our prayers won’t cease.

    • God bless and Merry Chjristmas, Jack, and my prayers for a swift recovery. xx

      • Thank you, Tibs. God Bless you, your family and loved ones.

    • chiefofsinners

      Good to have you home for Christmas, Jack.

      • It’s good to be here, kind Sir. It does feel like a home from home too …. so many friendships forged down the years.

    • William Lewis

      Thinking and praying for you, Jack. Hang in there.

  • ‘it is because of these important religious roots and Christian values that Britain has been such a successful home to people of all faiths and none’—Cameron

    Christian affiliation in Britain is 64 per cent whereas in Poland it is 94 per cent. By Cameron’s logic, then, Poland should be digging its multicultural grave even faster than Britain. In reality, Poles reject multiculturalism and burn in effigy those they hold responsible for it. Perhaps it is because of their Slavic inheritance that the Poles still have a backbone. The contrast with the effete British could not be more striking.

    A peaceful Christmas to all.

    • Sam

      Well dude

      Glad you’re getting into the Christmas spirit by lining to a video of far right poles burning effigies of Jews. Interestingly , and perhaps this might be cultural Marxist propaganda , egged on by Bolshevik Jews, but I always thought Jesus happened to be Jewish ? It’s not nice of the Christian poles to burn effigies of his descendants and blame their own problems on a tiny religious group, who could all be related to Jesus is it?

      Poles are also happy to come to multi cultural Britain by hundreds of thousands, millions. So it says a lot they are leaving Poland to come to the effete British homeland does it not ? Better pay, more tolerance , less xenophobia? Of course being anti immigration and British only , you’d be happy to send these poles back to their poor country ?

      • @ Sam—Glad you’re getting into the Christmas spirit

        No one gets into the Christmas spirit like the Jews:

        Terry Zwigoff’s Bad Santa has become a holiday standard. Brought to life by a Jew from Wisconsin (Zwigoff) and four Jewish brothers (two Coens and two Weinsteins), it is regarded as a classic send-up of Christmas culture gone awry.

        In an interview last year, director Terry Zwigoff explained how the Coen Brothers turned Bad Santa from holiday pastiche into scorched earth. ‘Like the kid would ask Santa, “Do you and Mrs Santa ever think of having kids?” And in the original script it was just, “No, thank God.” And the Coens made that into, “No, thank the f*** Christ.” That’s their gift. They have a gift for dialogue.’

        For a Jew at Christmastime, it’s all we could ever want in a holiday movie.Adam Chandler

        ● Measured by the spirit of the people—their determination that their country will remain white and Christian—Poland is infinitely richer than Britain.

        • carl jacobs

          Bad Santa has become a holiday standard.

          Yeh. It’s such a classic, I had to Google it because I had never heard of it before.

          You do realize it is just a black comedy, right?

          • @ carl jacobs—If I may explain, Christians believe that Christ is the Son of God. The film links the name of the Son of God to an obscenity. The film was made by Jews.

          • Sam

            Pull my cracker dude.

          • carl jacobs

            … and is thus evidence of a Jewish conspiracy to “de-Christianize” Europe?

            Penguins are black and white. Old TV shows are black and white. Therefore, penguins are old TV shows.

          • @ carl jacobs—The same argument applies to Europe as to America:

            ‘these Jews look at mass Third-World and Moslem immigration, not as a danger to themselves, but as the ultimate guarantor of their own safety, hoping that in a racially diversified, de-Christianized America, the waning majority culture will lack the power, even if it still has the desire, to persecute Jews.’—Lawrence Auster, Why Jews Welcome Muslims

            Rule number one—Keep the dumb Christians smiling:

            “The radio was playing ‘Easter Parade’ and I thought, But this is Jewish genius on a par with the Ten Commandments. God gave Moses the Ten Commandments and then He gave to Irving Berlin ‘Easter Parade’ and ‘White Christmas’. The two holidays that celebrate the divinity of Christ—the divinity that’s the very heart of the Jewish rejection of Christianity—and what does Irving Berlin brilliantly do? He de-Christs them both! Easter he turns into a fashion show and Christmas into a holiday about snow. Gone is the gore and the murder of Christ—down with the crucifix and up with the bonnet! He turns their religion into schlock. But nicely! Nicely! So nicely the goyim don’t even know what hit ’em. They love it. Everybody loves it. The Jews especially. Jews loathe Jesus.”—Philip Roth, Operation Shylock: A Confession

          • carl jacobs

            You do realize that is all dumb as rocks, correct? The collapse of Christianity in the US has its roots deep into the 19th century – which is rather before Irving Berlin, and even before the beginning of mass immigration from Eastern Europe.

          • Hi

            regarding the US :

            Except that Latinos are nominally Roman Catholic and therefore Christian , just like Poles. The black community is mostly protestant and charismatic i.e. Christian, just like white evangelicals. The percentage of American Muslims is small. Then there’s the middle class Hindus and Jews . But American is still overwhelmingly , at least nominally, Christian by self identification. There is a difference of course between religion and ethnicity, e.g. whites can become Muslims and Chinese people Christians. That’s where you are confusing yourself.

            Finally, the US has a strong sense of civic patriotism, as shown in the daily allegiance/loyalty to the flag and constitution , the American dream, rather than America as a specific white or specific Christian construct .

          • @ Hannah Out Loud—Earlier in the linked article, Auster (a Jewish convert to Christianity) writes: ‘there is something that many American Jews fear in their heart of hearts even more than they fear Moslem anti-Semitism, and that is white Christian anti-Semitism.’ So this isn’t just about religion, it’s also about race, a point forcefully made by Charles Krauthammer: ‘European anti-Semitism is not a Jewish problem, however. It’s a European problem, a stain, a disease of which Europe is congenitally unable to rid itself.’

            Jews in America felt so threatened by white Christians that, once Jews were elected to Congress, they began working for America’s white-only immigration policy to be overturned, and that was back in the nineteenth century, long before the Holocaust. The Jews’ victory came with the 1965 immigration act, and, in 1993, the American Jewish activist Earl Raab wrote: ‘The Census Bureau has just reported that about half of the American population will soon be non-white or non-European. We have tipped beyond the point where a Nazi-Aryan party will be able to prevail in this country.’

            At least one American Jew, Stephen Steinlight, has realized that, by disempowering white Christians, the Jewish community has shot itself in the foot. White Christians, as is all too obvious on these threads, are wracked by Holocaust guilt and are putty in Jews’ hands; the Hispanic and black Christians who will become America’s majority communities feel no such guilt. Under the sub-heading ‘Posing the Sphinx Questions’, Steinlight asks: ‘Does it matter that the majority non-European immigrants have no historical experience of the Holocaust or knowledge of the persecution of Jews over the ages and see Jews only as the most privileged and powerful of white Americans?’ Yes, is the answer. Steinlight goes on to assess the impact of America’s demographic earthquake on US support for Israel. Will that support continue when a new America emerges, one that could not care less about Jews or Israel?

            My reading is that American Jewry was so obsessed with reducing white Christians to a minority that it failed to consider the possible consequences.

          • Sam

            Dude

            Hannah and I are Sephardic or mizrahi Jews, whose grandparents fled a vicious Islamic pogrom called the farhud and found a new home here in Britain and they were fierce in their patriotism , without diminishing their Judaism. To integrate they gave their children and also grandchildren “British ” names such as Rachel, Hannah, Samuel, David, Ruth , Solomon and Esther.

            The idea that Jews are in some conspiracy with Islam is an utter joke. You know in most Islamic countries Jews are portrayed as pigs and monkeys, holocaust denial is rife: one state especially prays “death to the Jews ” on a daily basis.

            Israel-the only functioning multicultural and wealthy democracy in the middle east – is firmly supported by devout Christians and has had to fight several David verses goliath wars in self defence against Islamic Arab aggression.

            But whilst I dialogue in my sincere belief that Christianity is mistaken , with my Christian friends about Jesus and messiahship I praise God -Baruch Hashem- that we can do so whilst thoroughly supporting Israel and the Jewish people.

          • @ Sam—I do not believe for a moment that Jews and Muslims conspire together but when an Israeli rabbi (the link is on this thread) says that ‘Islam is much better as a gentile culture than Christianity’, when the Chief Rabbi recommends that Jewish schools should teach Islam, not Christianity, as the second faith, and when the Chief Rabbi of Moscow describes Muslims as ‘our natural allies’, it is clear that Jews believe they can make common cause with Islam against Christianity. I fully understand why Jews see Christianity as a threat (the Israeli rabbi rounds up the reasons better than I could) but I would say the threat is not so much Christianity as multiculturalism: when two very different cultures occupy the same territory, bad things happen on both sides.

            You’ll understand that I must be a little sceptical about claims of Jewish loyalty to Britain when I read of Jewish children in Britain being taught that non-Jews are evil.

            As I mentioned to Hannah, the ‘devout Christians’ in America and Europe who support Israel will, before the century is out or soon thereafter, become powerless minorities as the result of Third World immigration. In the US, it is a matter of record that the Jewish community worked tirelessly for Third World immigration, and it did so specifically to disempower white Christians.

          • alternative_perspective

            Have you heard there’s a new Jewish-Christian party in the Knesset? I believe it’s preparing to welcome Jews and their Christian spouces from America and Europe as anti Jewish rhetoric and violence increases.

            The party recognises that the greatest gift to the Jewish state outside the nation are the Zionist Christian evangelicals who are committed to Gods promise of the Land to the Jewish people. The party recognises that if these Christian are isolated and ostracised in society Israel will find itself without many friends in the world.

          • carl jacobs

            The Jewish population in the US is around 2% and is heavily concentrated in a few locations – principally California, Florida, and a handful of states in the NE United States. One wonders how the Jews managed to achieve this master plan to “de-Christianize” America when operating from such a small power base? Seeing as Florida, California, and a handful of states in the NE United States don’t have between them sufficient power to change laws.

            As I said before, the collapse of Christianity in the US is not the result of immigration. It is the result of the creeping liberalization of the culture that extends well back into the 19th century, and predates any large Jewish influx into the country. Where do you think the word “Fundamentalist” comes from? It comes from opposition to liberalization in the mainline Christian denominations in the early part of the 20th century. That places the origin of the crisis before Jews became a significant (if localized) political force. Large scale Jewish immigration did not begin until the 1880s. The number of Jews in the US was negligible before 1890. Jews in the US didn’t reach 1 million souls until 1900. In the first three decades of the 20th century, the Jewish population grew from 1.5% to 3% and has since fallen to 2%.

            So where is the power base of this conspiracy?

          • @ carl jacobs—Power often flows from wealth, and, as this Israeli report indicates, quite a few American Jews no longer depend on soup kitchens. Media ownership, too, is a source of power (see here, pages lii to lvi or thereabouts).

            I have already linked on this thread to Lawrence Auster’s observation that American Jews’ greatest fear is ‘white Christian anti-Semitism.’ Suppose that American Christianity had completely collapsed, removing one half of the threat. Third World immigration would still have been necessary to neutralize the other half—the power (and potential anti-Semitism) of the white population.

          • Hi

            Yes. The life of Brian was blasphemous to Jews and Christians.(okay I did find three scenes funny*) But you haven’t condemned that. I wonder why….

            *bicus dicus , the graffiti scene when Brian is told off for getting his Latin wrong ,oh and the stoning scene.

          • carl jacobs

            It isn’t necessarily true that rank blasphemy can’t also be funny. But you are correct about that movie. I despise “Life of Brian”.

          • alternative_perspective

            I was watching it and fell a sleep about 35 mins in, really boring. Then I woke up and saw aliens flying around. What the…? I turned it off, perhaps people were more easily entertained in the past?

            Boring and ridiculous. A pretty bad combination for a comedy.

          • sarky

            Don’t worry about Johnny ‘hes a very naughty boy’

          • LOL….. and he didn’t even take up Sam’s offer of a cracker…

          • Phil R

            This was the funniest part.

            Don’t agree?

        • Sam

          Dude

          As usual you don’t answer the questions set to you.

          Never mind

          “their country will remain white and Christian”

          Yeah I get you can only be a Christian if you are white. I’m not sure why those missionaries bothered with the world outside Europe if that’s true. Funny thing is in that painting in the blog post, I actually look like the Joseph figure (olive skin, black curly hair, home made kipah , no beard though) and my Mrs could actually look like the mary , without the baby (yet). In other words Jesus’s parents weren’t Caucasian, but Jewish. Ok God was one of the parents according to Christianity, but who says God’s Caucasian ? (Which would be idolatry).

          “Poland is infinitely richer than Britain.”

          Why do millions of polish people live outside of Poland and especially in the UK?

          • sarky

            Don’t worry Sam Hannah I love the Jewish people and many of my atheist friends think the same!!! 🙂

          • Sam

            Well , I did my gallantry bit last night, by escorting an Anglican housemate to midnight masses. Okay I didn’t attend . We managed to find a subtitle watering hole for the hour and a n it….

          • sarky

            Ha ha you were getting full of the spirit in your own way. (So was I)

          • Sam

            Dude,

            Well we’ve got a Turkey roasting in the oven , all ready for our (usual ) five courses Shabbat meal. I didn’t think it appropriate to go to that service as I’m respectful of others beliefs. I don’t believe in Christianity or its message. But I think Jews and Christians and atheists can discuss these matters without fear or favours for the first time in history . Unless you’re Johnny, who can only see conspiracy and scapegoats in Jews .

            Shabbat shalom and merry Christmas.

          • sarky

            And to you dude.

          • Hi Sarky

            Cool. Well I have a kosher turkey cooking in the oven for tonight’s Shabbat meal. I got a naughty present from someone in the secret Santa at work….

        • magnolia

          OK, so you find one foulmouthed, and probably atheist Jew and think he is representative of the whole lot??? Do you seriously think most Jewish people would like that kind of deliberate offensiveness? Not most of those I know. Nor those of that faith on here…

          How would you like it if a French person quoted some foul mouthed rude English person and said all English people thought the same? Did you like, or think fair, the caricatures that the person who used to post on here called Linus in his French incarnation made of the British? (He is now Oklahoman)….(cough)… (or perhaps just Trollish in nationality).

          Do you really think you can generalise from this puny sample? Really?

          • @ magnolia—Rabbi Baruch Efrati may be foul-mouthed in his personal life but I don’t suppose he’s an atheist:

            ‘Jews should rejoice at the fact that Christian Europe is losing its identity as a punishment for what it did to us for the hundreds of years [we] were in exile there. We will never forgive Europe’s Christians for slaughtering millions of our children, women and elderly… Not just in the recent Holocaust, but throughout the generations, in a consistent manner which characterizes all factions of hypocritical Christianity. Europe is losing its identity in favor of another people and another religion, and there will be no remnants and survivors from the impurity of Christianity, which shed a lot of blood it won’t be able to atone for.’

            Earl Raab may have been foul-mouthed and he may have been an atheist but he was a leading figure in American Jewry:

            ‘It was only after World War II that immigration law was drastically changed. In one of the first pieces of evidence of its political coming-of-age, the Jewish community had a leadership role in effecting those changes.’—Jewish Bulletin, July 23, 1993

            Before the drastic change, in 1965, immigrants to the US were overwhelmingly European Christians. In their own ways, Baruch, Earl, the makers of Bad Santa and the Israeli Jews who spit on Christians are all saying ‘F*** Christ.’

        • Inspector General

          Look, JR. The Jews are our friends. No doubt the Inspector might, after some effort, find an extant member of the BNP who wishes to consign his enemies to the gas chamber, but no one here is suggesting the BNP as it stands, is that way inclined as a political organisation.

          In other words, get a grip on what is, not what isn’t.

          • @ Inspector General—The Jews are our friends

            God must have got the wrong end of the stick:

            [14] For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judæa are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: [15] who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: [16] forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.—1 Thessalonians 2

          • Inspector General

            Yes, well, the Inspector is on record for criticising the bible for its, shall we call it zeal. And no, one does not believe the thing is the word of God completely but littered with the thoughts of men from the time.

            Anyway, what about the rest of this man’s post you have so selectively replied to as of now…

          • @ Inspector General—I didn’t reply to the rest of your post because I thought it kindest to look the other way: ‘Christians must be nice to the Jews or they will say we’re BNP anti-Semites who have cornered the world market in gas chambers.’ I can respect Polish Christianity, it stands tall and fights its corner. I’m sorry, but British Christianity is wimpish by comparison.

          • Inspector General

            What a damnable mess. The wimpish Christianity we have is a result of bishops in the CoE being educated in the time of the social destruction that was in the 60s and 70s. Those blighters will be relieved of their authority in the not too distant future by reasons of age, but they are set to be replaced by feminists….

          • @ Inspector General—Catholic Ireland isn’t faring much better:

            ‘Drive through Dublin today—in fact drive through any Irish town on any day—and you’ll be staggered at the sheer scale of the non-White invasion. How Ireland has been racially transformed in less than a single generation.’

          • alternative_perspective

            That was written by a Jewish Christian. St Paul referring to a specific group of other Jews who were violently trying to prevent his evangelisation of the diaspora, as he once did.

            Elsewhere he laments the spiritual state of the Jews, he is broken hearted and longs for them to be reconciled to the father through Jesus. He later goes on to say that if it weren’t for the Jew’s rebellion the Gentiles would never have been invited in but that eventually these two, Jew and Gentiles would be united in Messiah.

            At no time does St. Paul, the Jewish convert, ever damn the Jewish people.

            And please remember, the first Christians were Jews. Without them there would have been no church.

          • @ alternative_perspective—Thank you but I’m more concerned with what today’s Jews are up to and the implications for today’s church. I understand that Galilee was an area of forced conversion to Judaism, a century before Jesus’ birth. I don’t suppose it will ever be known whether Jesus and his disciples were ethnically Jewish.

    • Hi

      A large chunk of the rest of the 36% is atheists like Danjo and Sarky….

    • alternative_perspective

      Perhaps but the church here is dull as and the people still suffer the consequences of repeated invasions, subjugations and dissolutions in their psyche.

      But they will still be proud Poles long after the English have ceased to be anything other than a motley crew of alienated and angry individuals floating off the NW coast of Continental Europe.

      • Believe me, a dull church is far better than a church that betrays its own people by supporting mass immigration and Islamization. Good luck to you.

  • magnolia

    Thank you Your Grace for your excellent site and your shepherdly patience and forbearance to your sometimes rambling flock, and for sending the sheepdogs in to nip ankles so sparingly!

    The very best possible Christmas to Your Grace, to Gillan and to all here in these somewhat wayward times.

    Happy Christmas!

  • Sam

    Good to see Joseph is wearing a homemade knitted kippah, might be too Jewish for some folks here though.

  • Sam

    Oh and happy Christmas and New year.

  • IanCad

    To our host, associates, and all who comment. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
    Wishing all a blessed Christmas and fulfilling New Year.

    • “The good, the bad, and the ugly ….”
      Not overlooking the Inspector.

      • He’s got a big shaking fist now…

        • William Lewis

          Scary

          • Hi

            Very scary…. But inspectors a gentleman. Went to Gloucester in October. Very nice place. Took me a while to get used to the uwar, uwoors in the accent.

      • Inspector General

        Ah, that be you Jack. Good to see you are still with us.

        Anyway, notice anything different after the lobotomy?

      • carl jacobs

        So … ummm … Jack. Have you watched the movie “Minions”? Because you really need to watch it. In fact, every Brit should watch it.

  • Uncle Brian

    Hello again, Jack. I’m sorry to hear about your health problems but it’s good news
    that you’ll be spending a few hours at home tomorrow.

    To His Grace and all his many communicants, my thanks for all the instructive and entertaining moments I have spent in your company this year, and if I’ve ever ruffled your feathers, please forgive me. Long may we all continue here. There’s no place like Cranmer’s.

    I wish you all a very happy Christmas, and that includes a Joyeux Noël for Linus, in case he’s reading this.

    Regards
    Brian

    • dannybhoy

      “…and that includes a Joyeux Noël for Linus, in case he’s reading this.”
      Well said Uncle Brian!

  • CliveM

    To all a Merry Christmas and blessed New Year.

    Specifically to Happy Jack, may you be back to full vigour soon, the smiley, orange blob is much missed!

  • David

    I shall now also join the gathering throng in wishing all those associated with this site, from its small team of admirable writers, its dependably regular commentators, its critics and the few predictably downright difficult, a very happy and joyous Christmas and a peaceful New Year.
    To Happy Jack I shall send a particularly animated “Well done Jack ! Happy Christmas to you and yours” – get fully better as you are much needed and missed by all of Cranmer’s congregation including me.

    • Thank you, David.

      • Anton

        Welcome back Jack. I hope you are recovering.

      • alternative_perspective

        Missed u And ur little Mr. Man esque avatar.

      • chiaramonti

        God bless you Jack. Let us hope and pray you are around for a lot longer!

  • Inspector General

    Splendid stuff, Cranmer!

    It seems against the spirit of enlightenment that your gift for manifesting the truth in word form be confined to this one site, albeit occasionally quoted by others. The Church of England could do no better than to convey your goodly missals of what is and the hope that gives to the parishes of ‘all England’ (a phrase that one understands covers the worldwide Anglican communion) to be read out routinely. One church, one voice, as they say, (or at least should). Your voice is it, the very essence.

    In the meantime, carry on here, that magnificent fellow!

  • Inspector General

    The Inspector would like to take this eve of Christmas opportunity to wish Cranmer’s crew of Christian jolly tars a peaceful Christmas, and also the ship rats of detraction that plague this site a similar, although of course, lesser peace. Much lesser.

    Maybe for them a bit of family squabbling. A drink emptied over someone’s head. Hair pulled, arm bitten, a turkey launched at someone. A punch thrown, a groin kneed. A shouting match, toys smashed, a tree wielded threateningly around, window broken, pledges made, curses issued, revenge promised, beatings arranged…

    Have a very godless Christmas, those who deserve it…

    • sarky

      Already there and we haven’t even reached the great day yet!!!!

      • Inspector General

        Knock ’em down from behind – they can ‘t say for definite it’s you then…

    • alternative_perspective

      Where in the UK you say ur from?

      • Inspector General

        The sea going port of Gloucester, sir.

  • Orwell Ian

    God rest you merry gentlemen persons self-identifying as being of male gender,
    let nothing you dismay.
    May you be undefiled by the post-modernist Happy Holiday and enjoy a traditional, politically incorrect Merry Christmas.
    Cheers!

  • chiefofsinners

    Happy Christmas Cranmer and comrades of the commentariat. May all your puddings be figgy, and may the Word of Christ continue to dwell in you richly throughout the coming year.

  • James60498 .

    Happy Christmas to all here.

  • Orwell Ian

    The Twitter response to David Cameron’s Christmas message is #YouAintNoChristianBruv

    • William Lewis

      That made me chuckle.

  • len

    What is the true significance of Christ- mas?.

    The Shepherds, the people , the child , the manger?.

    Jesus was to be the sacrificial lamb to take away the sins of the World as promised by God.

    On the night in which Yeshua(Jesus) was born, the angelic message came to those priests of the Temple whose duties had been designated, often from their youth, to “keeping watch over their flock.” These were not just any flock and herd. The shepherds who kept them were men who were specifically trained for this royal task. They were educated in what an animal that was to be sacrificed had to be and it was their job to make sure that none of the animals were hurt, damaged or blemished. During lambing season the sheep were brought to the tower from the fields, as the lower level functioned as the birthing room for sacrificial lambs. Being themselves under special rabbinical care, these priests would strictly maintain a ceremonially clean birthing place. Once birthed, the priestly shepherds would routinely place the lambs in the hewn depression of a limestone rock known as “the manger” and “wrap the newborn lambs in swaddling clothes,” preventing them from thrashing about and harming themselves “until they had calmed down” so they could be inspected for the quality of being “without spot or blemish” (ibid, the Jewish oral tradition & Alfred Edersheim, the Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah).

    http://www.hethathasanear.com/Birth.html

  • len

    A blessed Christmas to all, and special thanks to His Grace and co for all the thought provoking articles through the year.
    Good to see you back Happy Jack….

  • William Lewis

    A blessed, joyful and peaceful Christmas to one and all.

  • Wishing you all…His Grace, the crew and especially Happy Jack… a happy Christmas,

  • Sam

    Okay housemate was too eager and wanted to pull my cracker .

    Joke : what’s white and goes up? (One for Johnny)

    Answer: a confused snowflake!

    • carl jacobs

      I thought they were called “poppers”?

      • Sam

        Dude

        Dunno , always thought they were crackers. Perhaps avi can shed a light on that . But must go now as it sunset.

  • carl jacobs

    Welcome Christmas. Bring your cheer.
    Cheer to all Whos far and near.
    Christmas day shall always be.
    Just so long as we have Thee.

  • Anton

    The Archbishop of Canterbury has said in his Christmas sermon that Christianity faces elimination in the Middle East, where it began.

    A magnifying glass on the map of the Middle East helps. Christianity started in Israel, and does not face elimination there.

    Thanks be to God.

  • steroflex

    Jesus did not just condescend to the poor. He chatted to the utterly immoral woman of Samaria, he was buried in the tomb of a seriously rich Jew, he was nice to Nicodemus. He spoke to the High Priest as an equal and understood Pontius Pilate. Just seeing him as a sort of first century social worker is frankly wrong. One of his greatest miracles was knowing all about perfect strangers. Read the Gospels again and be staggered by the number of times he did this.