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A word from our Presiding Bishop - elect.
+ Joshua Beecham (EOC Presiding bishop, elect)
As a communion of churches, together with many other Christian traditions, we now enter into the season of Advent, the period of preparation before we celebrate anew the 12 days of Christmas. It is during this time period of Advent that, in a sense, we return to the Old Testament, to the era before Christ, to our own pre-Christ days, to that time of calling out from the darkness, the longing cry of God's people awaiting the promised Messiah. It is a season of waiting. It reminds us again that unless God chooses to act, we are without hope, so we wait, and we cry out for Him to come.
That is something most of us don't tend to do very well, wait. However, some have suggested that waiting itself is sacramental. It isn't a waste of time; it's a hallowing of time. Waiting in quietness in the dark of night brings us face to face with ourselves, with the reality of our own brokenness and need, and it prepares us to receive Him who humbled himself and entered our helpless condition in order to bring healing and wholeness.
Most of us tend to vie for status and recognition and prestige, to soar above everyone else - at least, that's what our fallen world encourages us to do. Such is the case of the classic gods of renown. Malcolm Guite, Anglican priest and poet, captures that well in his poem Descent.
They sought to soar into the skies. They called for blood and sacrifice
Those classic gods of high renown. Their victims on an altar bled
For lofty pride aspires to rise. When no one else could pay the price
But you came down. You died instead
You dropped down from the mountains sheer They towered above our mortal plain,
Forsook the eagle before the dove. Dismissed this restless flesh with scorn,
The other gods demanded fear. Aloof from birth and death and pain,
But you gave love. But yu were born.
Where chiselled marble seemed to freeze. Born to these burdens, born by all
Their abstract and perfect form. Born with us all 'astride the grave'
Compassion brought you to your knees. Weak, to be with us when we fall,
Your blood was warm. And strong to save.
There simply is no God like our God! Not only is He not indifferent or aloof and unconcerned about our pain and suffering, as some would accuse Him; rather, He entered it. He became like us so that He might remake us to be like Him.
As we have now wrapped up the past church year and have begun a new one, the Advent season, getting in touch again with that longing in our hearts, I pray that you would encounter the Incarnate Lord anew in your own burdens and find Him "strong to save."
If you are alone in your journey and looking for a church home, I hope you will fill out the information to the right and reach out to us. If you do, someone will respond to you, likely the bishop who is closest to your area, and will invite you to journey with us.