Wednesday 20 December 2023

Ad Laos - To the People of God – Christmas 2023

Dear People of God

We celebrate the Advent of the Prince of Peace this year in violent and distressing conditions – war in the Holy Land, Sudan and Ukraine, to name but a few, and tough economic times at home.

The siege of Gaza has led many to call for a “Black Christmas” in Bethlehem, where Jesus was born and which, being on the West Bank of the Jordan River, has in recent weeks experienced an upsurge of conflict and killings associated with the fighting in Gaza.

During our own struggle against oppression, when people were being killed in many of our townships in the 1980s, we also discussed observing a Black Christmas, curtailing our celebrations out of respect for those who were suffering. At that time, we drew a clear distinction between boycotting the secular, profit-making commercial celebration of the season – which was appropriate to the times – and our celebration in church of the birth of our Saviour and Redeemer – which we continued to insist upon.

Nevertheless, the clear distinction we draw as Anglicans between the Season of Advent and the Season of Christmas can help us respond appropriately to the demands of our time. Advent, which we are observing now, is a time of reflection, of contemplation, as we prepare for the coming of our Lord.  So this Advent season, let us focus our prayers, our giving and our concern on those who suffer, whether it is the poorest of the poor in our own communities and country, or those around the world driven from their homes, displaced from their communities, tending to the wounded and mourning the dead.

Then, in Anglican tradition, let us begin the Season of Christmas when it should begin, on Christmas Day, by joyfully celebrating the birth of him who is the hope of the world, more especially in times of darkness and despair.

A blessed, peaceful and very happy Christmas to each and every one of you! 

††Thabo Cape Town

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your feedback! Note that we do not normally publish your Anonymous comments here. Rather comment on our Facebook page: