King stresses service and creation care in Christmas Day speech

King Charles delivered his 2023 Christmas Day speech from Buckingham Palace.(Photo: ITN)

King Charles used his traditional Christmas Day speech to encourage the nation to care for creation and serve others. 

He said that service “lies at the heart of the Christmas story—the birth of Jesus who came to serve the whole world, showing us by his own example how to love our neighbor as ourselves”.

He paid tribute to people of all ages who are making a difference to their communities and said this was “all the more important at a time of real hardship for many, when we need to build on existing ways to support others less fortunate than ourselves”.

The King suggested that service to others and looking after the planet go hand in hand.

“Because out of God’s providence we are blessed with much, and it is incumbent on us to use this wisely. However, service to others is but one way of honouring the whole of creation which, after all, is a manifestation of the divine,” he said.

“This is a belief shared by all religions. To care for this creation is a responsibility owned by people of all faiths and of none. We care for the Earth for the sake of our children’s children.”

He continued, “During my lifetime I have been so pleased to see a growing awareness of how we must protect the Earth and our natural world as the one home which we all share.

“I find great inspiration now from the way so many people recognize this—as does the Christmas Story, which tells us that angels brought the message of hope first to shepherds.

“These were people who lived simply amongst others of God’s creatures. Those close to nature were privileged that night.” 

He ended his Christmas message with an appeal for people to look after one another and live out the command of Jesus to love our neighbours.

“And at a time of increasingly tragic conflict around the world, I pray that we can also do all in our power to protect each other,” he said.

“The words of Jesus seem more than ever relevant: ‘do to others as you would have them do to you.’ Such values are universal, drawing together our Abrahamic family of religions, and other belief systems, across the Commonwealth and wider world.

“They remind us to imagine ourselves in the shoes of our neighbors, and to seek their good as we would our own.”

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