CHRISTMAS MESSAGE: Coun Stephen Woodliffe, Mayor of Boston

Stephen Woodliffe
Stephen Woodliffe

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year, providing we remember why we celebrate the festival. All over the world, Christians celebrate Christmas with carols, readings and joy, celebrating the coming into the world of the saviour of mankind, Jesus Christ.

No-one is absolutely certain on which day He was born, or indeed even exactly which year, but that doesn’t really matter, because for those celebrating the true meaning of Christmas, the key belief is that Jesus Christ came into the world to save each one of us, and that He subsequently died for us on the cross and that He rose again in glory; and that is why Christians celebrate Christmas all around the world.

What does that mean for us in Boston? Well, Christians should celebrate the birth of Jesus every day of their lives, but particularly on the 25th December when everyone can enjoy celebrating together. However, when we are enjoying the company of family and friends, sharing gifts and food, we should remember those people who have none of these. We should also remember those who live in desperate conditions, whether in Boston or elsewhere in the world. With that in mind, we should extend a loving commitment to those facing loneliness or hardship at the coming festivities. Feeling unloved or enduring hardship is depressing at any time, but in the gloomy dark days of December, that feeling of isolation is particularly compounded when others are seen to be partying and enjoying the company of loved ones.

So, my Christmas message is this: Enjoy the festivities and share your enjoyment with everyone around you, showing compassion to those who struggle against illness, loneliness and depression at this time. As your Mayor, I share my Christmas greetings with each one of you in Christ’s name, and look forward to a happy and prosperous New Year, with the prospect of the lighter, warmer days of springtime and summer to come.

So, have a happy and safe Christmas, remembering of course the real meaning of the celebration, and share your Christmas joy with everyone you meet.