CHRISTMAS MESSAGE 2015 by ARCHBISHOP GREGG

A10It’s that time of year again. December has come and with it all the joys of Christmas. But what is the real meaning of Christmas? Is it the gifts under the tree, the lights in the windows, the cards in the mail, turkey dinners with family and friends, carols singing in the yard, stockings hanging in the living room, and shouts of “Merry Christmas” to those who pass us in the streets? Is this really Christmas?

For many people, Christmas is a time of sorrow. As we celebrate this year let us remember those that died in the floods of 2013 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Those that perished earlier this year in Dominica. We must remember that Jesus came to save us from the ravages of this world. Many people are sad, because they don’t have the extra money to buy presents for their children, family, and friends. Many are saddened at Christmas time when they think of their loved ones who will not be able to come home for various reasons. Turkey dinners may be only a wish and not a reality for some.

Yet, Christmas can be a season of great joy. It is a time of God showing His great love for us. It can be a time of healing and renewed strength. You see, Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of the Christ child. God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to be born. His birth brought great joy to the world. Shepherds, wise men, and angels all shared in the excitement of knowing about this great event. They knew this was no ordinary baby. The prophets had told of His coming hundreds of years before. The star stopped over Bethlehem just to mark the way for those who were looking for this special child.

Luke 2: 4-19 says: “So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “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 to you; He is Christ the Lord.

This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”

Why did He come? Why did God send His son to this sometimes cruel and hard world? He sent Jesus to us so that one day, He would grow up to become a very important part of history. His story (history) is one of truth, love, and hope. It brought salvation to all of us. Without Jesus, we would all die in our sins.

Jesus was born so one day the price could be paid for the things we have done that are wrong. The Bible says that all have sinned. We are all born with a sinful nature. We do things that do not please God. Through the sins of Adam and Eve, we have all inherited that sinful nature. We need to have that removed. The only way is through Jesus. Jesus came so He could die on the cross for ALL of our sins. If we believe that Jesus died for our sins, we can ask Him to come into our hearts and forgive us. Then, we are clean and made whole. We can know that heaven is a place where we can go to when this life is over.

“But if we confess our sins to him, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.” I John 1:9

Many people are disappointed with the results of the recent elections held in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Many placed their trusts in prophecies and other predictions, but God had other plans. It didn’t go in our favour, but it is all in the plan or will of God. We now have to wait to see if the promises would be fulfilled. Will we continue to watch out for each other or will we maintain the political enemy as we did during the campaign? I will use this forum to urge everyone to lift the country forward. It is our home until the Lord calls us from works unto reward. Trinidad Central Bank announced recently that the country was in a recession. Venezuela opposition swept the national assembly in their elections. What will it be for the Caribbean Islands that are shielded under the Petrocaribe agreement. Oil prices are falling and so is the revenue while cost of living is climbing. Fighting continue in the Middle East and Central Africa. Signs are around us that something is about to take place. No matter what happen you have to place your trust and confidence in God and watch Him bring you out in 2016.

We can truly be happy at Christmas! No matter what may be happening, we can know that we are His children. We then become sons and daughters of God. Heaven will be our home one day.

Look at Christmas in a new way this year. This is the year to invite Jesus into your heart. You will then have a “Merry Christmas.” The joy and peace you will receive will last all year as you look to God for all your needs to be met.

Jesus Is The Reason For The Season! Rejoice!

Your servant and brother,
+ Sir Godfrey Gregg
Archbishop and Presiding Prelate
Administrator and Apostolic Head

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Author: Godfrey Gregg