Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We are quickly approaching the end of the church year and the beginning of the season of Advent and Christmas. This season is often one of the favourites of the church, even as the weather gets colder, we enjoy the warmth, the familiarity and beauty of the age-old traditions of the seasons of Advent and Christmas.
This year, however, is anything but familiar – we are still in the grip of a global pandemic that continues to rage and surge in communities throughout the world and we are force us to modify our normal celebrations.
Who is guiding us in our daily living? On whom are we focusing as we do our shopping or visit family or attend a holiday party? Is our delight truly awe of the Lord? Who and what is your focus? the struggle “is always between grace and sin, between the Lord who wants to save us and pull us away from this temptation and the evil spirit who always throws us down” in order to defeat us. Are the decisions we make in union with God or dictated by selfishness?
As we continue to make straight the path to God, let us be mindful of our own difficulties in loving each other.
Let us not put conditions on God; rather, let us truly examine our own heart that it is open to receive the Word made flesh to dwell among us.
May we have the spirit of strength to follow Jesus; not to judge Him, but to befriend Him.
May we make room in our heart for God’s actions and be accountable before the Lord.
As Christians, we should be well poised for this waiting.
Advent is a season of waiting – yes waiting for the celebration for Christmas, but more importantly, it marks a season of waiting for Jesus’ second coming. As a church we have been patiently waiting for that day for almost two-thousand years plus, perseverance is a hallmark of our faith and so I call each and every one of us to keep the faith and to embrace the gifts of hope, peace, joy and love that we experience and celebrate in the Advent season.
Waiting isn’t easy, but by the power of the Holy Spirit and through the faith and support of our fellow Christian. I pray that we will persevere and not lose hope. God is with us; God is with our church; God is with our nation, our state and our communities. That I know, and I pray that you will know that truth too.
May God bless us and our families this Advent and Christmas season, and may we all persevere in the faith as we wait for better days that lie ahead.
Yours in His Matchless Grace.
The Rt. Rev’d Gabriel O. Elabor, OSA, JP.
Anglican Bishop of Esan