At the heart of Christmas is the Church of England's theme for Advent and Christmas 2021.
In 2020, many of us experienced a Christmas when so many of the ways we traditionally mark the season were suddenly denied to us.
This year, of course, we hope and pray that many of the familiar experiences that help Christmas come alive return to our homes, our churches and communities. But whatever else December brings, it will offer us an opportunity to enter more deeply into the joyful mystery that lies at its heart: God becoming human in the birth of Jesus Christ.
Inspired by readings from the Gospels of Luke and John read at so many Christmas services, At the heart of Christmas is an invitation to everyone to discover – or rediscover – the good news of God’s saving love as revealed in the birth of Jesus. It is also a challenge to each of us to ponder in our hearts – as Mary did – what the extraordinary events of the first Christmas might mean for us now and in the years ahead.
At the heart of Christmas is a deliberately simple and open theme – one that we hope can be used by local churches to invite their communities to share in celebrating the good news of Christmas in a whole variety of ways, whatever the prevailing circumstances.
The message is designed to work alongside a wide range of local, diocesan and national initiatives and activities – supporting and highlighting the many ways churches help their communities connect with the heart of Christmas through thick and thin, year in, year out.