Feast of Nativity 2018 Diocesan Message

My dear Fathers, sisters, brothers and children in the Lord,

Grace and peace to you from our Lord Jesus Christ.

As we celebrate the New Year and Feast of the blessed Nativity, it is a wonderful opportunity to thank God for His provision and constant presence over the past 12 months that have undoubtedly presented some challenges for us all.

The undeniable reality of the Blessed Nativity is that it was indeed a transformative act that began our journey out of darkness into the light of Resurrection, Salvation and eternal life. Saint Athanasius reminds us that in our Lord taking on our human nature, He has truly enabled us to become more godly and like Him. This is cause for joy as we are reminded in Isaiah 25:9 “This is the LORD; We have waited for Him; We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.”

The Infant Christ in that simple manger was a Gift to the whole world, Who brought with Him hope and goodwill to all, as proclaimed by the angels to the shepherds “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward humankind!” (Luke 2:14). In the midst of conflict and turmoil, it is sometimes easy to be overcome by events and forget that Gift, and the magnificent light of God that shines within, among, and through us into the world. We continue to witness the struggle of our sisters and brothers in Egypt, most recently in Menia, Cairo, Alexandria, Tanta and Helwan, along with Christians and people of other faiths and none in the Middle East, Africa, South-East Asia and around the world. While we have the opportunity to gather and pray, we must continue to do so steadfastly for them all, asking that God may provide them with the strength and hope they need in their struggle.

While challenging, this year has by no means been void of blessings. The gift of our new diocese is one of those blessings. I am humbled and honoured to be able to serve you all now in our new Diocese of London, and am looking ahead to what I hope and pray will be a fruitful year to come for all of us in all our parishes, which have now become part of a wider family.

It is with hope and trust in the faithfulness of our Lord and His deep love and concern for His flock that I wish you all a very blessed year to come, praying that it be filled with grace, and new opportunities for us to glorify Him as we journey along our Christian path together. Let us make it a priority in this coming year to reflect upon our Christian calling to love, forgive and show compassion to all; especially being a support to those who may be in greatest need, and less fortunate than ourselves.

Asking your prayers for me and our shared ministry, I cannot think of a better way to conclude than the words of our great teacher Saint Paul who said, “I…do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers” (Ephesians 1:16).

I wish you, your families, communities and loved ones all the blessings of the Holy Nativity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Bishop of London                          Feast of the Blessed Nativity, 1734 AM / 2018 AD