“Do not be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born” (Luke 2:10,11)
It’s not hard to miss the fact that 2015 was a year marked by significant social, economic and political challenges. I have had many conversations with folk who voice anxious and sometimes even alarmist concerns about the future. We must not lose sight of the fact that nothing unusual is happening. The Bible is clear that there will always be a crisis on the horizon. Troubles will come till Christ returns. We must not be afraid nor discouraged.
Christmas reminds us that our comfort comes not from human sources but rather from Heaven sent solutions. That is the good news of great joy that we can celebrate and affirm, without fear, into the New Year. Our Almighty God mercifully chose to gift our condemned world with His perfect Son who took our condemnation upon Himself in order to offer us the favour He enjoys with God the Father. There is no greater or more glorious gift that we could receive by faith this Christmas. And there is no greater need for the people of our fragile land than to be put right with their Creator and Judge.
Personally, as I come to the close of my first few months as Presiding Bishop I can say that in the midst of a daunting responsibility I am comforted by the truth that God continues to use ordinary shepherds like me to call people to faith in His Son. How especially privileged we are to be entrusted with this message first proclaimed to the earth by angels.
I am also so grateful to be placed a family of churches full of people who are committed to spreading this message and I thank the Lord for my fellow gospel workers who share this same gospel vision. I pray for our continued Kingdom partnership as we strategize and plan for new growth and church plants in the year that lies ahead. We are excited about the vision God has given us and we march ahead on our knees, trusting Him for the fruit of our labours.
My prayer for you who are part of our REACH-SA family is that God will grant you a spiritual gift perfectly suited to the particular local church context in which you live and serve. May you be moved to use your gifts in partnership with God’s people so that together we can be more effective instruments for the growth of Christ’s church in our land.
May the Lord visit our country with the revival it so desperately needs and may He grant you all a blessed Christmas and fruitful Kingdom service in 2016.
The Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa (REACH-SA) is the official operating name of the Church of England in South Africa (CESA).