The Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, has paid tribute to lifesavers and bushfire fighters while marking celebrations for the birth of Jesus, the Saviour.

Archbishop Davies annual Christmas message was released as preparations were being made for Christmas services to be attended by thousands of people across Sydney, the Illawarra and beyond.

“Summer is a wonderful thing” Archbishop Davies began – “but our summers also reckon with those two great forces of nature – fire and water. Both are able to turn against us in a moment – and we need saving.”

“Sometimes, as we have seen tragically in fires in California and in Australia, we can miss the signs and don’t see the need of a saviour till it’s too late. How welcome are the faces of the surf lifesavers or the bushfire fighters who spend their summers risking their own lives to save us when we are in trouble.”

Dr Davies spoke of the spiritual significance of the season.

“At Christmas, we celebrate the arrival of a saviour for all time. Luke, the historian, records this in the Bible – ‘Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.’

“When God, who created us – says we need a saviour and sends one – we should listen.”

Dr Davies said Christmas could be a time of spiritual renewal.

“Make this Christmas a time to reach out to Jesus – the saviour we all need. May you all have not just a stocking filled Christmas, but a Christ-filled Christmas.” the Archbishop said.

The Christmas message in text (PDF) Video (mp4) Audio (mp3)