Gafcon Chairman's Christmas Message
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
I pray that in this Advent and Christmas season you are resting in the hope, love, and joy of Jesus Christ.
At this time in our world, the economy, national conflicts, travel plans, and Covid-19 and its variants all hold in common a simple reality and certainty, and that is of their uncertainty. We cannot be certain of where the global and local economy will be in the coming year, whether our travel plans will be unexpectedly changed, or what will happen with the morphing Covid outbreak. This can be very unsettling. Uncertainty can cause anxiety and stress: How will I provide for my family? Where will I even be next month? Will my classes be online or in person? What will my health be like?
The uncertainty we are currently experiencing is not a new thing. In fact, it is as old as the story of a young couple in a backwater province of the Roman Empire planning on getting married but being surprised with the news that they will bear a Savior named Jesus. Not only would they be forced to travel by the dictate of an emperor for the purposes of a census and taxation, but they would be tasked with the responsibility of taking care of the Messiah. It is amazing to think that God entrusted this young couple with a role in his plan of salvation in the midst of the swirling angst in Palestine. What has he entrusted to you?
Our familiarity with the Christmas story shields us from the reality of the surprises and uncertainties that arose at every turn for Mary and Joseph: the uncertainty of carrying a child and finding housing in Bethlehem; the unsettling prophecy from Simeon declaring the baby Jesus is, “...appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel…” (Luke 2:34); the uncertainty of trusting the message to travel to Egypt; and the unsettling news of the slaughter of innocent babes in Bethlehem. When has following Jesus ever meant a security guarantee for the future apart from the assurance of salvation which is promised in Romans 8:38-39, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord”?
By faith, Mary and Joseph followed the Word of the Lord through the angels, and it is by faith that you and I walk forward in this age of uncertainty. We know that by God’s goodwill we enter His rest with joy, loved and redeemed. “Behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Mt.2:10). This is indeed good news of a great joy and is a certain comfort as we in Gafcon and throughout the global Anglican Communion move forward, trusting God and His Word, and seeking to proclaim Christ faithfully to the nations.
A Merry and Happy Christmas to you!!
Archbishop Foley Beach