Skip To Content

Bishop shares Christmas video message

Bishop Andrew Asbil has shared a video message for Christmas. You can find the video and full text below.



When I was little, Christmas was never quite complete without watching certain holiday specials, like How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Jack Frost and A Christmas Carol. Long before there were VCRs, CDs, DVDs and streaming services those shows could only be watched once a year, most notably on CBC. Weeks before Christmas my siblings and I would scour the TV Guide to make sure we knew the date and time they would be shown. Missing a viewing would mean waiting for another whole year.

Of all the movies, my personal favourite was A Charlie Brown Christmas. Given the task of directing the Christmas play, Charlie quickly loses the confidence of his friends and loses focus on what the season is all about. Placing his faith in the hope that a Christmas tree would make all the difference, he and Linus pursue the lights and sounds of the city in search of a perfect conifer. He by-passes all the big, bright, shiny aluminum trees and his eyes fix on a tiny, scraggly sapling that cannot even bear the weight of a simple ornament…When he presents the tree, his friends cry, “You’re hopeless, Charlie Brown! Completely hopeless!”

It’s the time of the year when we, too, follow the lights and sounds of malls and shopping centres. We jostle for parking places, wedge our way into line ups, reach for deals and stretch our credit, all in the hope of buying that perfect gift and getting it right. Some of us avoid the malls entirely and do our shopping online, but still anxiety over on-time delivery and availability, surfaces. Some of us have our shopping done months ago, while others start just a few days before…I am more the latter, I wish I could change that.

And behind the lights and the noise, never far from our consciousness, the worries of the world pursue us; rising inflation, an economy that is stumbling, the persistence of Covid and deeper isolation, wars that continue to embroil us, family ties that are strained, friendships that are broken, work that is difficult. Each of us trying to get it right.

In a moment of exasperation Charlie Brown asks, “Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?”

And that’s when Linus takes center stage. The lights dim, a hush falls over the auditorium and a single spotlight shines as he launches into our story.

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah,* the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom God favours!’

The unwavering voice of a child plants the seed of promise once again. With the telling, the years that separate us from that very night fall away and we catch a glimpse of the awe and calm of that night. Like the shepherds long ago, it is we who regain our focus, our hope and our purpose.

At Christmas, God breaks into the world in the flesh of a newborn child… innocent…fragile… vulnerable…whole. At Christmas, Christ supplants our anxiety with peace, forgiveness and love. A love so deep and so wide as to perish on a tree to make all things right!

Charlie Brown’s response to this good news is to look again at that little tree he had chosen. His friends, so dismissive just moments before, join him – Linus famously declaring, “All it needs is a little love.” That is true for all of us, for all of God’s creation. In the Incarnation, God comes as one of us so that we too can be reassessed, found beautiful and glorious, made worthy and give praise to the One who created us … in love.

And the lights and noise, the bustle and busyness fall away, and we’re left with a quiet night, a starry sky and voices joined in praise. Hark! the herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn king! That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.