A Word of Encouragement - Christmas Day 2020

A Word of Encouragement - Christmas Day 2020

   On this Christmas Day may you know the strengthening presence of Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us! Thank You Niall for the invitation to share a passage of Scripture which has meant a lot to me in this extraordinary year.  

    The Ghost Train in Portrush is deeply etched in my life and memory. I was still at Primary School.  We were on summer holidays in Portrush and of course the Ghost Train was a big attraction. Foolishly, I had decided I was a big boy and insisted on going on the train on my own! Not a good idea!

    Into the darkness I travelled full of courage and misplaced confidence. The scary moments began and then in the depth of the darkness what happened? The train stopped…it had broken down. I was terrified and will never forget crying out from the core of my being… “Mummy Daddy, Uncle Dick, come and help me help me quick!” All I wanted was my Mum’s presence with me at that profoundly frightening moment! 

    How many times this year have we experienced fear, panic, disappointment, loneliness and frequent changes of plan? I can honestly say that these words of Jesus that have meant everything to me so many times. They are some of His last words…. “I am with you always!” What a promise!  Knowing He is with me means everything. Isn’t that same message one of the reasons why this Christmas Day is so important? Jesus is not only Saviour of the world, He is Emmanuel, which means God is with us. 

Wherever you are this Christmas Day let’s pause for a few moments and say THANK YOU for His Presence and His Promise. If we are followers of Jesus we are never never never alone…. He really is with us always! 


(Ken Clarke is former CoI Bishop of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh - he visited with us in Ballyhenry in 2017, when he and his wife Helen spoke at our Wholehearted Weekend).