The Bishop of the Bahamas Christmas Message

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Luke 2:14 – “Peace on Earth and goodwill to all people” – in his message, he went on to say:

One of the most well-known sayings in the Christmas story, as recorded in the Bible, are the words of the angels to the shepherds in the field at night. They foretold that Jesus would bring peace on earth and goodwill to all people. This startled and confused the shepherds. However, Jesus’ life, teaching and actions eventually showed everyone how this could be possible. Jesus is still in the business of making peace and goodwill. 

What is peace? It is the absence of war, but it is also the absence of or freedom from disturbance, conflict, uneasiness, worry. Peace is well-being and contentment, which God brings and which God’s people should nurture, inspire and create wherever we go. In other words, we are God’s ambassadors (2 Corinthians. 5:20), we are a letter sent from God to the world (2 Corinthians.3:3). 

Peace is the ultimate desire and goal of many people. It is what we yearn for. This Christmas, as talk of “peace on earth” is in the air, remember some basic things about your peace journey: 

1 To have times in your life where you do not have peace is normal. All human beings experience this from time to time. 

2 Peace is within our grasp. We have to do right, be fair to others, help others and give of ourselves, if we expect to have peace within. 

Let us all acknowledge our weaknesses, accept our mistakes, ask for forgiveness, and also give forgiveness to others. 

Let us acknowledge the pains and hurts in our lives and seek to address them. Talk about them with someone we trust. Get counselling – as we go to the nurse or doctor with physical issues, so we need to seek help for wounds that are emotional, psychological, and mental, or wounds of the memory. 

We need to take spiritual counsel from clergy and other key spiritual persons in our lives. 

Take care of yourself. Be good to yourself. It all helps to make a difference. 

3 Peace must be pursued. We will not find peace, or begin to address our circumstances, if we simply sit and do nothing. Take responsibility for yourself. Take steps to advance on your peace journey. 

4 Create peace for others. Make a difference for others by being interested, through warmth, friendship, listening and encouraging, through sincerity, kindness, and helping people to better their circumstances. This lightens their load. 

5 Remember to find peace in God. God is the source of true peace, the peace on earth that creates the goodwill that the angel talked about. We are the catalyst for the peace that we want to see in the world. Jesus is the flame which burns within us, and the warmth of that flame radiates from us into the world to make the gospel real and meaningful.

May God’s peace be yours somehow this Christmas. Let us all try to bring that peace into being for others. 

The Anglican Diocese of the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands joins me in wishing you all a peaceful Christmas and a happy 2022.