A Christmas Message from Archbishop Leonard Dawea, Primate of the Anglican Church of Melanesia.
‘God bless the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory to God’, Luke 19: 38.
A very merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year 2021 to the Anglican Communion family from the Anglican Church of Melanesia. It is time of the year the global Christian community celebrates God becoming human in Christ through the royal birth in the poor stable of Bethlehem. The poor, rugged, cold and smelly stable is the point where God meets and connects himself to us through the holy and pure infant Baby Jesus. God meets us as we are and in the thickness of darkness and difficult situations we encounter. 2020 is undeniably a difficult year in terms of the global Covid-19 pandemic together with all the issues resonating from it. Despite that, the birth of Christ assures us that God’s plan for his creation is certain. We, therefore, need not be afraid and uncertain for Christ our King comes to us in the name of the Lord.
There is fear and uncertainty engulfing our human community, hence trying not to be afraid can sound fake, but God is truth. His Word became flesh, His light shines in our darkness and in receiving him we can become his children. These are great words of certainty. In the rather mysterious events of the holy night of our Saviour’s birth, the shepherds were filled with fear, but they were told not to be afraid. In the unfolding events around us, we are told not to be afraid.
God’s plans for us is certain, in God we have a great good news; our Saviour is born to us today – He is Christ our Lord and King. The angels acclaim the new born King as the highest glory of God in heaven inaugurating peace (shalom) on earth. In the lowest of human structure, God meets and connects to us assuring us not to be afraid. Like Mary whose spirit is full of joy in God her Saviour, our spirit rejoices in God our Saviour. Though the holy Baby Jesus was wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in the manger, he is the glory of God herald on earth; giving us life, life in all its fullness, John 10: 10.
The birth of Christ, is the birth new life; new life that offers us new opportunities to see God and his plans for human salvation. This year the world as Prophet Isaiah proclaims, has been walking in darkness and living in the shadows, but in the birth of Christ, we shall see a great light shining on us as it shines on the shepherds on the holy night of the Saviour’s birth. It gives light to light up our life on the path towards the Kingdom of God. His Kingdom will have no end; establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever, Isaiah 9: 1, 7. In the birth of Christ the created order once tampered with by human weakness not long after man was created is recreated. Christians on Christmas aspire living in the recreated order of life with Christ as Lord.
God offers his only begotten Son Jesus at Christmas as his precious gift for us. God gives the gift of Christ for the world graciously and freely, we in turn must offer Christ as gift to one another through prayers, Christmas corals, visitation, and giving and receiving of gifts. Christmas is meaningful through each other, giving and receiving God’s love in Christ. Christ is God’s love to the world.
Once again the Anglican Church of Melanesia wishes the global Christian family a blessed merry Christmas and prosperous New Year 2021. Come Lord Jesus come, be born is us today! He is Emmanuel, God with us. Happy festive celebrations family!