Bishop of St Albans offers a Christmas message of generosity

Bishop Of St Albans Rt Rev'd Dr Alan Smith.

Bishop Of St Albans Rt Rev'd Dr Alan Smith. - Credit: Archant

The real spirit of Christmas lies not with depressing media scenes from designated days like Black Friday but by practising generosity.

That is the seasonal message from the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Rev Alan Smith, who is calling on people to respond to the gifts and generosity of God as revealed in the birth of Jesus Christ.

He said that Mary’s selfless love for her child was ‘a world away from some of the depressing scenes that we saw on our televisions and newspapers recently’ with people literally fighting each other on Black Friday to get hold of the best bargains in the shops.

He went on: “At a time when the Christmas festivities can seem empty and meaningless - especially for those people who are suffering or grieving - we can rediscover its true essence by practising generosity,

“In the words of Jesus it really is more ‘blessed to give than to receive’.

The Bishop said that even small acts of kindness could divert people from the selfishness and greed which were always close at hand. “Offering encouraging words, listening for a few minutes to someone who is lonely or helping a neighbour in need can change us as well as the other person.

“Such selfless acts of love can redirect our energies and they have the power to rekindle hope and bring light where there is darkness for the giver as well as the receiver.”

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He concluded: “So this Christmas, let’s rediscover and reaffirm the true spirit of the season: generosity.”