Your Eminences and Excellences! Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus!
Our familiarity with the Christmas story shields us from the reality of the surprises and uncertainties that arose at every turn for Mary and Joseph: the uncertainty of carrying a child and finding housing in Bethlehem; the unsettling prophecy from Simeon declaring the baby Jesus is, “…appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel…” (Luke 2:34); the uncertainty of trusting the message to travel to Egypt; and the unsettling news of the slaughter of innocent babes in Bethlehem. When has following Jesus ever meant a security guarantee for the future apart from the assurance of salvation which is promised in Romans 8:38-39, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord”?
By faith, Mary and Joseph followed the Word of the Lord through the angels, and it is by faith that you and I walk forward in this age of uncertainty. We know that by God’s goodwill we enter His rest with joy, loved and redeemed. “Behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Mt.2:10). This is indeed good news of a great joy for us to move forward, trusting God and His Word, and seeking to proclaim Christ faithfully to the nations.
A Merry and Happy Christmas to you!!
Pax et bonum!
Ego Patriarcha H.
Most Reverend Lord Heigo Ritsbek
M.A., M.Div., D.Min., Litt.D., D.D.
Patriarch, The Anglocatholic Church
President, Holy Trinity Anglocatholic School of Ministry