God’s Divine Love Permeates for a Broken World
“They shall name Him Emmanuel” which means, “God is with us” (St. Matthew 1: 23)
Christmas is the solemn gathering of the faithful to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus and the world’s Messiah or Anointed One. As we commemorate his birthday, I feel compelled to remind the diocesan family that God became human like us so that we might become God. The Lord of the angels became one of us so that we could eat the bread of angels. What a stunningly beautiful and awesome way to sum up the Christmas message.
The center of attraction is the manger, the child Jesus, by coming among us offers God’s healing and love to our broken and hostile world. As I reminded our family some years ago, believing and receiving him means putting him first, far ahead of the fading glory and shifting hopes offered by this world. Also, Jesus offers humanity a personal way of knowing, loving and relating to God our Father in heaven, and our fellow neighbors.
Christ’s birth is the bridging of two realities that shows that God is not just the God of heaven but Lord and Creator of the universe. Christmas is God’s incarnation, that is, God taking human flesh and becoming one like us. God became human, not just to save the world, but to bless the world, to bless being human, to endorse being human, to join us in our humanness. In this holy and joyful season Jesus invites us to come to him as a child embodying all the characteristics manifested in children – from the purity of innocence to the openness toward people of different cultures, ethnicities, nationalities, social or economic status and skin color.
Second, when we look around, and see the children in their many Christmas presentations, that excitement and thrill go a long way in helping to lay aside, even for a moment, the realities of daily struggle. For children, all the experiences of life are new and thrilling adventures. They take them in and take them on willingly and eagerly. Adults will do well to adopt this attitude of childlike innocence at Christmas, and for once give the gift of this sacred birth we celebrate a chance to fill us with PEACE! JOY! and LOVE!
The timeless incarnational truth in this message is God’s invitation for us to participate in the holy work of salvation. We are co-responsible for our salvation by embracing and incarnating Jesus’ call to ‘come unto me’ and ‘live in me as I live in you’.
My beloved, the birthday of Jesus marks our own birthday. Our baptism into Christ fundamentally draws us into a shared intimate relationship with him. This accounts for the reason why over the centuries the practice of gift sharing had become so popular. In truth, we are all celebrating this birthday with Jesus which gives us every reason to exchange gifts during this happy season.
In the spirit of the season, I would wish to personally thank our generous diocesan family for donating to date $30,000 to the Bahamas Hurricane Relief. The enormous task of rebuilding and restoring over three hundred years of livelihood for the Bahamian people on the islands of Great Abaco and Grand Bahama is a daunting proposition. Let us continue to be generous and caring in our support in this Christmas tide. My beloved, my heartfelt gratitude goes out to you for supporting one of my and Lynn’s adopted countries.
However, as we do so we are reminded to spare some time in our celebration to invite the Christ child of Bethlehem stable, Jesus the Lord and Savior, into our lives and giving him the freedom to lead us where he wishes recommitting our life to the guiding principles of love for all, peace, joy and Christian harmony.
Finally, my beloved colleagues and spouses/partners, Nalini ‘Lynn’ and I are conscious of the gift we have received from God in allowing us to share ministry and companionship with each and everyone of you. You have all made our life in the diocese a truly remarkable and holy experience. We love you with all our heart, mind and soul! As the angels remind us, “God is with us”.
Every blessing, joy, happiness, peace and goodwill to you and your beloved family members in this Christmas season!
+San & Lynn