Our festive celebration of our Lord's birth at Christmas with family, loved ones and friends is centred upon the spiritual reality stated in the Letter to the Hebrews. In Jesus Christ, God has come to us in a vey special way and has called us into a genuine and intimate relationship with himself. The gift of his beloved Son to the world reveals God's unconditional love, mercy, grace and faithfulness to his people, wayward though we may be. God's greatness is made known in all simplicity and humility in the birth of an infant in a lowly stable in Bethlehem. Grace is revealed in the obedience of Mary and Joseph who made themselves available for the purposes of God.
During Advent we prepared ourselves through prayer, worship, the reading of Holy Scripture and reflection that we might more fully comprehend God's will and activity. The Son was given to us that the good news of God's love would revive our hope for deliverance from despair and the condition that prevents us from the true experience of abundant living. In the words of Isaiah we learn of the mission of God's Servant and we see this as fulfilled in the ministry of Jesus:
"In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world" (Hebrews 1:1-2).
Here is the blueprint for a divine rescue mission that liberates us from the territory of the enemy, the prison house, the slough of despond and delivers us safely upon the shores of the kingdom of God; it breaks the stranglehold of sin and its debilitating effects that separate us from God; through God's power restored to grace and holiness. The purpose of God's gift as manifested in the Son is to give to the world healing and restoration. This is to be found in union with him through his Son, Jesus Christ. Its lasting effects reverberate down through the ages. May holy wisdom enable us to open our hearts to joyfully receive him and to worship at his cradle.
"The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn...to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit" (Isaiah 61:1-3).
So, this indeed, is our reason for celebration, for hope and for joy. The spirit of openness and good will that Christmas engenders is shown in our wanting to be together, our kindness and generosity, the giving and receiving of gifts and in our renewed hope for a better world in which peace and reconciliation prevail. All of this is rooted in our vision of God, Emmanuel, present in the babe born at Bethlehem. He is our Saviour, our Peace and our Joy. I pray that the spirit of God and our Lord Jesus Christ will abide in our hearts this Christmas-tide and always.
On behalf of my wife, Astrid, our family and I, the Priest Vicar, Fr. Colin Humes & Mrs. Humes and their family, Catechist Justice Neville Smith, our Wardens, Mr. Ron Clarke, Mrs. Rosita Smith-Duvalier and Mrs. Sandra Collie, I extend to you and your loved ones our very best wishes for a safe, blessed, joyful Christmas and holy season.
Dean Patrick Adderley