The new Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, has raised the issue of image and the 'selfie' phenomenon in his first Christmas message as Archbishop.

Dr Davies was elected Anglican Archbishop in August this year by the Synod, or Parliament of church members.

"What is it about our society that 'selfie' is the landmark word for 2013?" Dr Davies asked.

Oxford Dictionaries declared 'selfie' word of the year, saying its use had increased by 17,000 percent in the last 12 months.

The Archbishop compared the social trend with the fact that Christmas celebrates the Son of God coming to earth.

"At Christmas time we should remember that there is an ultimate self-image, the image of God, which far outweighs the supercilious picture of a face filling our screen" he said. "We are all stamped with the image of God and it is this image that makes us precious in his sight."

Earlier this year, Dr Davies invoked the same illustration in relation to the asylum seeker debate saying "The evil of people smugglers only exacerbates the ethical minefield that awaits any who enter into this debate. Yet no policy can justify the ill treatment of human beings, which either minimises or dehumanises their status as bearers of the image of God."

At Christmas, Dr Davies said, the Son of God became flesh.



"Incarnation is the theological word which describes God’s coming to earth as a human being, with all the vulnerabilities associated with being born as a baby in that Bethlehem crib. But so often we tend to leave Jesus as a baby in a stall, cute and inoffensive, and forget that he grew up as a fully developed adult, so that he might live the life we could not live and die the death that we deserve."

"Christmas without Easter is not the full story. We fail to appreciate Christmas if we fail to appreciate the reason why he came ─ to suffer death upon a cross on Good Friday, rise again on Easter Day so that the bonds of death may be broken and new life become a reality for all who put their trust in him" the Archbishop continued.

"As you look at the pictures you take this Christmas, some will be joyful and some scenes may be sad, but you will look at faces that have the self-image of God─ those for whom Jesus came to offer new life." he said. 

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