Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Message to the Anglican Diaspora 2014

To the members of the Anglican Diaspora message board.

Your Graces, My Lord Bishops, Reverend Fathers and Esteemed Brethren

Judging by the news from around the world, we end this year in some darkness. Events are certainly overtaking our brethren in the Middle East and our thoughts and hearts are certainly with them as we pray fervently for their relief from the blood-soaked persecution which is raging in Iraq, Syria and other places. These are people who are coming face to face with the darkness that resides in the hearts of men.

It’s a darkness that affects us too in our daily battle to hold on to God. While the threat of death may not be heavy or hard upon us, the life of our souls are in peril too. Our Lord tells us that we should “fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The souls of our departed brethren in the Middle East will shine for all Eternity to the glory of God and the condemnation of the acts that put them there. It is they who will be like the planets, reflecting the Lord’s Glory and shining His light on the world, revealing that which is wrong and hidden and dark.

That light shines upon us too. We have our struggles in life. Our may not be the same earthly fate as these brave Christians, but we share the same destiny in Christ because it is His Salvation in which we participate as every Christian does. We may not suffer this level of persecution: in all likelihood we will suffer the slow drip, drip, drip of the world’s abrasion trying to wear our Faith away. The Light of Christ will shine upon us to show us how far that abrasion has affected us. Painful though it is, we embrace that revelation because, in Christ, we may receive that which will perfect us and rebuild that which has worn away.

There is much in the world that is thrown at us to make us despair. The darkness and the gloom try to envelop us and cloud our vision from even our very selves. Even Church institutions are contributing to that fog and murk with heresy and deliberate acts of provocation and schism. Our lives are filled with cares, worries and frustrations. Let us then just put them down for a moment.

Let us just walk over to the manger.

Let us just pick up that Baby Whose little arms reach out for us.

Let us just pick up that Baby and embrace Him, with all His innocence and light, and allow that light to shine in us and shine through us.

Whatever happens in the world cannot compare to the Peace that this Baby brings us. The little bundle is the Light that shines in the world and the darkness cannot overcome. We pray for our suffering brothers and sisters in the Faith that we all share and in the Name of the Baby Who resides in the lives of each of us, shining His light, even Jesus Christ Our Lord. We may not see the end of suffering with mortal eyes and in mortal light, “but our eyes at last shall see Him in His own redeeming love” with the eyes of Eternity.

May God richly bless you this Christmasstide, and may the Child of Bethlehem, Our Lord Jesus, reside in your hearts giving you love, joy and peace, now and forever.

Happy Christmass, everyone!

Fr Dave,
Fr Jonathan

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