Place = ‘studley’
True faith means keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus; and we do that through prayer. When we pray, we refocus ourselves on Jesus, standing before us, arm outstretched, saying, ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid. Come.’
Baptism is all about God saying, ‘Welcome, welcome home.’ It’s a symbol for the turning back to God that we all have to do, every day.
When I was at primary school in East Hull, our deputy head-teacher - Mr Jones - had a sign on the wall of his classroom, which said, ‘School days are the happiest days of your life.’
Those angelic words are a rather good summary of the message of Christmas: Glory to God and on earth peace. And if I were forced to distil it even further, I would say the message of Christmas is this: peace on earth.