The Queen's Christmas Message

_57567395_philip_queen.jpg A highlight of my 2011 Christmas was watching the Queen's Christmas message.

The Queen wrote the speech herself - one of the rare occasions where she does not turn to the government for advice.

She is still Australian's head of state.

Before I highlight the actual speech, let's see how the press in Australia and Britain reported it.

The Queen has used her annual Christmas Day broadcast to speak of courage and hope in adversity.

The BBC

In her traditional televised Christmas message, the Queen said she had been "inspired by the courage and hope" the royal family had witnessed in Britain and the Commonwealth in 2011.

The Telegraph

Queen Elizabeth II has highlighted the importance of family in her Christmas Day message.

The ABC

The Queen has celebrated the importance of the family in her Christmas Day message, describing the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as her own personal reminder of the value of loved ones.

The Daily Mail

No mention at all of what the speech was building to. The last third of the message focused entirely on the gospel. Perhaps the press excluded this fact in the interest of social inclusion?

Here's what she actually said . . .

Finding hope in adversity is one of the themes of Christmas. Jesus was born into a world full of fear. The angels came to frightened shepherds with hope in their voices: 'Fear not', they urged, 'we bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

'For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour who is Christ the Lord.'

Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves - from our recklessness or our greed.

God sent into the world a unique person - neither a philosopher nor a general, important though they are, but a Saviour, with the power to forgive.

Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It can heal broken families, it can restore friendships and it can reconcile divided communities. It is in forgiveness that we feel the power of God's love.

In the last verse of this beautiful carol, O Little Town Of Bethlehem, there's a prayer:

O Holy Child of Bethlehem,

Descend to us we pray.

Cast out our sin

And enter in.

Be born in us today.

It is my prayer that on this Christmas day we might all find room in our lives for the message of the angels and for the love of God through Christ our Lord.

I wish you all a very happy Christmas.

The Queen is a better communicator of the gospel than most of the clerics interviewed over Christmas.

The Queen understands the importance, and the heart of the message of Christmas.

Long may she rule over us. God has saved our Queen.