|Christmas with Christ in the Centre ?|
Dear Fathers, Brothers,Sisters in Christ
The world we live in is not a cozy place, we do know it. Yet we try to ignore that fact by being arrogant, selfish, overambitious and proud. The arrogance and being overambitious can be found often in the workplace. Before I was an ordained Priest I spent many years working for an Australian Bank as a Middle Manager and every day for a Catholic Christian trying to live up to his or her Faith would be a challenge.
The selfishness , especially at the moment can be seen in the preparations for Christmas , i.e. very much a Christmas without Christ. When one enters their supermarket one falls
over tons of boxes of shortbred , chocolates and we are being bombarded with advertisements to stock up on our liquer cabinet. We care little for those , who are the down and out and the sick and the suffering.
This proudness can be seen amongst those who have leading positions in the Church of God. After the Victorian Government enquiry into sexual abuse by the clergy, which produced some shocking evidence , Melbourne Archbishop Dennis Hart and also
Cardinal George Pell did not display any sorrow over what happened in the Roman Catholic Church and the fact that so many crimes had been covered up. No repentence,
I feel that at this time , it would be good to reflect on the humility of the One we love so much and the One in Whom we trust. An example of humility to us all. Do you think that it would be possible to have a Christmas with Jesus Christ in the centre of things? If we can do that all our priorities and ambitions and desires suddenly change. I share some of the scriptures in relation to Christ's humility with you. Reflect on it if you can and better still endeavour to work in Christ's ways of rightiousness, peace and humbleness.
New International Version (NIV)
Imitating Christ’s Humility
2 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Father Ed Bakker
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne