“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
I want to start by wishing everyone a blessed Christmas and a wonderful New Year. We are all blessed to be able to see another end to a year that I am sure has brought with it many memories.Some memories might be of great joy – like the birth of a new child, a new job, a good health report, or starting a journey with your spouse – for these I join together with you to praise our Heavenly Father for that. Some memories however, might be painful – like the loss of a loved one, struggles with friends, children or family – for these I stand in prayer with you and encourage you to remember that our Savior Jesus Christ reminds us that He knows our pain and it is in Him that we find fullness of joy.
As we look forward to the New Year with new resolutions, I embolden you to be aware of our God given conscience. Our conscience is that inner feeling or voice that guides our actions or behaviors. Let us be conscience of those in need around us, let us be sensitive to those who are emotionally or spiritually weak among us, and let us be aware of those who are lonely in our midstespecially during this Christmas season. May we allow our Father in heaven to use us as his vessels to reach out to those in need, that we may see those yearning for God’s love and have the knowhow to minister to them.
Christmas is a time to celebrate the love that God showed to us over 2,000 years ago. John 3:16 reminds us of this fact as it states,“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life”. It is because of love that God sent His Son. God wants us to be a reflection of His love to others as this is the only way that others will know that we are His children. John 13:35 “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” As we look forward to reuniting with family and friends in celebration of the remembrance of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, let us remember that it will be by our love of God, and our love towards each other that we will be true witnesses of our Heavenly Father whom in His very nature is love.
My prayer is that our New Year resolutions will be guided by consciences rooted in Love. A consciences that will be patient, will be kind and not jealous; consciences that do not brag and are not arrogant, ones that do not act unbecomingly; do not seek their own, are not provoked, do not take into account wrong suffering, do not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; consciences that bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, endure all things (I Cor. 13 4-7).
I pray that the Advent season of prayer and fasting, has filled uswith solemn rejoicing at God’s great gift of His son. I also pray that we will have clarity, vision, and a mission as we welcome the New Year. May we grow closer to our Lord and Savior, may we seek to be more like Him in every area of our lives, may we study His word and His character with greater diligence.
May the Lord bless you in all that you do, and may He continue to watch over us all. Again, let me wish you and yours a joyous Christmas and a Blessed New Year. May God’s peace be with you.
In His Service,
Cor-Bishop Father George Bet Rasho