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I learned a new carol this Christmas. It is entitled Fullness of Grace in Man’s Human Frailty and really captures the reason why I’m in politics and why I wish you all a very happy Christmas.
I see the frailty of humanity every day of the week – the homeless gentleman sleeping on the station platform, the hard-pressed mum working three jobs for a roof over her head or the trafficked teenager at the mercy of evil men and women. So where is the fullness of grace – because even the best politicians and the most compassionate ideologies don’t solve the problem once and for all?
Sure, I see political and economic greed wreaking havoc across the world, and certainly in the UK. And it is easy to stand up in parliament and talk about eradicating homelessness. It is quite another thing to offer my spare room to a woman who would otherwise be sleeping in sub-zero temperatures or to give up my holidays to work with vulnerable refugees in eastern Europe.
At its heart, Christmas is not a celebration of nice words and happy smiles. Instead, it is all about someone who was willing, in the words of the carol, to swap power, glory and comfort for scandal, homelessness and hunger. And all of this for a purpose – to give hope.
So this Christmas, whilst you may feel hopeless as you consider the fraility of our common humanity, may you know and share enduring peace and hope.