AMS Christmas message

Christmas Message for Anglican Men’s Society magazine December 2012

As we move towards the conclusion of 2012, many of us are troubled by this world’s anxieties and challenges. From Middle East tensions to European economic difficulties. From political intrigues to damaging environmental pollution. Moral failures in church and society. Our own society appears angry and insecure. However, in recent months I have experienced communities where hope is growing.

My visit to Solomon Islands and my connections with World Vision have refreshed my view that where justice and grace come together in servanthood, great good can flow. Perhaps we need to focus our attention on areas where the spirit of the gospel is being set free. In these places people are being blessed as God and His servants bring new life and hope. In the Solomon Islands domestic violence is being addressed by positive action to change society, especially in the attitudes of the men. Women are feeling safer, freer and supported.

Another time and place where justice, grace and servanthood came together to change society, was in the small hamlet of Bethlehem, some 2000 years ago. The Prince of Peace came into the world to connect with societies around the globe, and across the centuries. The suffering servant of Isaiah was born in a stable. He would apply both justice and grace to our broken world. Jesus showed us a different Way to that of the world, and it all started at that first Christmas.

As we move towards 2013 we must first pass through this Holy season. Jesus’ birth can refresh and refocus us as we move forward to work for and with Him. We seek His wisdom and faith to be agents of hope.

May God bless you richly as you journey with Christ, through His nativity and into the new year.

Yours sincerely in Christ’s service, Shalom, Bishop John

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