Sinead Mcleod shares a thought and a prayer for Christmas


During Christmas, we celebrate the birth and light of Jesus Christ. It is a sacred time wrapped in love and warmth with fresh-cut evergreen and cinnamon-laced nostalgia, timeless traditions and feasts of turkey, Brussel sprouts, sherry trifles, mince pies, cranberry and bread sauce. The story of good news that had never been heard before, worthy of gold, frankincense and myrrh, is at the heart of Christmas, where lasting moments of connection are made and, in a sense, rediscovered and sometimes reinvented each year.

We are an expression of God’s divine love, and Christmas gives us the chance to reflect, to remember Christmas’ long gone, to forgive and to give thanks. Christ’s unbreakable love strengthens the darkest of nights; like the flickering lights on the Christmas tree, innocent hearts give rise to joyful laughter and glee. 

At the same time, Christmas cheer may seem infinite and, to some, downright painful. I am mindful to reach out to friends and family who struggle at Christmas. I have been there myself. While heavily pregnant and preparing my mum’s eulogy, I was worried about my unborn child. A wise priest shared some wisdom that I cherish: “The best place to learn sorrow is in the safety of our mother’s womb.” I learned the truth of Proverbs 15:30 that day: “Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.” His kind words brought joy to my heart and made that first Christmas after my mum’s passing a little less painful.

As Christmas approaches, let us reflect on the words of the angel in Luke 2:10–12: “I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today, in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

This Christmas, for me, is about letting go and forgiving in order to be present. As Matthew 11:15 urges: “Whoever has ears, let them hear.” To listen is to be present. I hope Christmas is a time full of love for you and of being present. God loves us all. Let us give thanks for that most wonderful truth.

Lord, at this most

wonderful time of year,

Let your eternal light

and healing grace reign upon us,

May we cherish each

moment, and may peace 

Dawn in Jerusalem

and the Holy Land. 

Lord, I am sorry for the

times I have ignored you.

Please forgive me. 

I am thankful for your

gift of forgiveness;

It strengthens me.

Father, help us all to

 forgive one another.

I thank you for your peace

That rests upon my soul.

Please show us how to

share your message.

Teach us to heal from past hurts so that we may be replenished.

May we be one with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.