The Bishop of London's 2011 Christmas morning sermon

This is a time of great anxiety about what lies ahead. The global balance of power is changing and here at home at a time of financial stringency there is an urgent search for how human beings and communities can flourish at a time when having and consuming more and more things no longer seems a plausible road to happiness.

Today’s good news is that God so loved the world that he was generous and gave himself to wean us away from our obsession with power over things and people. The way of Herod the Great and the way of the Emperor who decrees that “all the world should be taxed” is contrasted with the future opened up by the infant king born into a poor family. He comes to initiate us into a way of generous living; in love with God and his world which involves loving ourselves and our neighbours equally.

A few years ago the former President of the Royal Society published a book about the prospects for the human race worryingly entitled “Our Final Century” ”“ without a question mark ”“ although he has ascribed this to a publisher’s error. There is a question about whether we shall develop the wisdom to channel the power we have acquired from the scientific knowledge and discoveries of the 20th century? Where indeed, to quote T.S.Eliot, is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge and the knowledge we have lost in information.

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