FROM: The Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Melanesia (AcoM), the Most Rev Leonard Dawea and family, the Council of Bishops and their families, the General Secretary and all PHQ administration staff, Heads of ACoM institutions, Diocesan administrations, clergy, regional, parish and district administrators and the Anglican Community in Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia; convey warmest greetings and prayers of the holy season of Christmas and peaceful and prosperous New Year 2024;
TO: The Mission Partners, the Melanesian Mission Trust Board, New Zealand Advisory Council, Melanesian Mission UK, Anglican Aid Abroad, CANDO, Anglican Overseas Aid, and others.
The Anglican Churches in the region; the Province of New Zealand, Tikanga Pakeha, Tikanga Maori and Tikanga Pacifica, the Anglican Church in Australia and the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea.
The Governments and people of Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia. And the national Church associations in these countries.
The unfortunate members of our societies who will spend Christmas in hospitals, disadvantage localities and those who are on duty.
MESSAGE: The Angel said to the Shepherds, “This very day in David’s town our savior is born – Christ the Lord”, Luke 2: 11. They went on to sing and praising God saying, “GLORY TO GOD IN HIGHEST HEAVEN, AND PEACE ON EARTH TO THOSE HE IS PLEASED”, Luke 2: 14. The words acknowledge the place and impact God incarnate has on human kind. Peace is the virtue the birth of the holy baby Jesus dawns on earth. He is the prince of peace; the peace that influences good relationships, unity, connectedness, family, forgiveness and reconciliation.
Unfortunately, there are wars, disunity, conflict, disconnectedness and separation permeated throughout our society and the nations of the world. So many times, we think that the Church is failing, fighting a losing battle, or even the question the genuineness of the peace of Christ, but it is situations and circumstance as these that Christ calls to be his Church to one another. It is in times like these that we are called to forgive, to reconcile, to reconnect, to be united and foster new relationships.
We are told not to be afraid, for in the holy baby Jesus, the glory of the Lord has shone over us, Luke 2: 9-10. In him, God gives us life, life in all its fullness, John 10:10. Such circumstances are not there just for the TV screen, they are not just to occupy the social media, they are not just to influence our evening tok stori, they are to influence deeper prayers, responsible responses and to bench mark the goodness God’s Church for God’s world. These are the very circumstances for which Jesus came, he came for the sick; sick people and sick societies.
Christ comes that we may know and understand the needs of each other; Churches need each other, national governments need each other, families and family members need each other, colleagues need each other and individuals need each other.
We acknowledge that there are people in our societies who are like those who antagonized Jesus from birth to death. They continue to actively induce inhuman activities on our societies, but the sure truth is that, with the birth of Jesus and glory of God shone around us, we can no longer be afraid because they only stand on eroding sand.
We are called to celebrate in glory the birth of our savior in the stable. We do not need a clean heart for Christ to born, but to allow Christ to be born in our hearts regardless of the conditions of our hearts. Only Jesus can change our hearts, only Jesus can change our story, only Jesus can change our view and only Jesus can change our destiny.
We pray that you all may have a blessed and joyful Christmas and peaceful and prosperous New Year celebrations. In our celebrations always remember those beside you, those you meet on the streets, and those who need you. Love is something that you give it away and it comes right back to you. Christ is the manifestation of God’s love for the world.
Best wishes to you all for a blessed merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year 2024.