The Bishop's Letters
Surrendering to the Lord means we cannot say, “I’ll serve you, Jesus, as long as I get to…” Nor can we say, “I’ll serve you, Jesus, as long as I don’t have to…” God isn’t interested in negotiating a discipleship contract with us, in which he makes us an offer and we have our people get back to his people with a counter offer. God is only interested in our unconditional surrender.
If we don’t appreciate what God has done for us, how can we love him? If we don’t hold continually acknowledge how much we needed God’s mercy and how lavishly he has given it—then how can we be give testimony to God’s goodness?
n the day our culture calls Groundhog Day, let’s remember that today has been observed since at least the 4th century as the Presentation of Christ in the Temple. According to the Law (Leviticus 12), Mary and Joseph were to present their newborn to the Lord in the Temple on the 40th day after his birth. February 2 is 40 days after Christmas Day, and so the Presentation is observed today in the Christian year (and it has nothing to do with Jesus seeing his shadow!). We celebrate that, in Jesus, God has come to his people. In the prophetic words of the aged Simeon who took baby Jesus in his arms, “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel” (Luke 2:29-32).
Our ministries of compassion and care are vital if we are to be faithful witnesses to the Light. And one arena in which our witness is urgently needed is the sanctity of life. Again this year, our diocese is partnering with Anglicans for Life to offer a day of teaching about the beginning and end of life issues facing our culture and the Church. Called the “Mobilizing the Church for Life Summit,” it will be held on Thursday, January 26 at The Falls Church Anglican
Advent is a time of preparation, a time of anticipation, a time of waiting. You probably know the old saying: “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” That may be true, but biblically we should say that it’s really abstinence that makes the heart grow fonder.