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CHRISTMAS MESSAGE: Let Christ live in us each day


CANON NOEL BURKE

CHRISTMAS MESSAGE: Let Christ live in us each day

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IT GIVES ME great joy to greet you as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Christmas is indeed a very special time, both for the Christian and for others who make every effort to participate in this wonderful observance.

We read each year the wonderful birth narrative contained in sacred scripture as the Gospel writers highlight the awesome message of the incarnation.

There is an element that is ever fresh and ever new when we read about the birth of Jesus. We take our minds back using our religious imagination to the stable in Bethlehem and consider, with the Blessed Virgin Mary, St Joseph along with the shepherds, the awe and wonder of that moment.

Sacred scripture, according to Professor Kevin Irwin, must be considered as always contemporary. Therefore when we read about the birth of Jesus we must not just consider this as an event in history.

We must rather see the narrative for its theological and spiritual content, that our Lord is born in us day by day.

This indeed is the meaning of the incarnation – God Almighty assuming human flesh and dwelling among us and in us.

One of the most powerful statements is given in St John’s Gospel when the writer states: “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:15, NRSV)

God places certain responsibilities on each one of us this Christmas; we are to see Christ in each other and love one another as Christ loves us.

This means having an eye to the other, such as the lonely, the sad, the housebound and those who have no other helper.

Within our community it means taking another look at home and family life to ensure that we are bringing our children up in safe and secure dwellings.

We may not all be able to afford the most expensive, shiny new electronic gadget; but we can give them the greatest gift of all, which is love.

There are those who this Christmas face uncertainty and for whom there is an element of sadness because a loved one is absent for the first time. For such persons a card or a call can be very meaningful.

For us on the executive of the Barbados Christian Council, incarnation means that we must see Christ in all persons across the various denominations in Christianity and call into dialogue those who acknowledge the power and presence of God Almighty.

We also reflect on the fact that God calls us into communication with social partners as we seek to impact the social, economic, political and cultural life of our nation bringing Christ to bear in all proceedings.

We continue to pray that even in the midst of the economic and financial challenges that bear upon us at this time that we will all be able to experience the joy and peace of the Christmas season.

On behalf of the executive of the Barbados Christian Council, I extend best wishes for a blessed and holy Christmas and God’s continued grace and guidance for the New Year.

From the Barbados Christian Council.

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