Thursday, December 24, 2015

Bishop’s Note: Christmas Eve 2015

Bishop Eric Menees

“O God, who hast caused this holy night to shine with the illumination of the true Light: Grant us, we beseech thee, that as we have known the mystery of that Light upon earth, so may we also perfectly enjoy him in heaven; where with thee and the Holy Spirit he liveth and reigneth, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.” (Collect for Christmas, BCP pg. 161)

This evening all around the diocese, and all over the world, men and women of faith will gather in church. Many of us will be reunited with our families who are spread far and wide, as we join together to praise God for His love that knows no bounds.  

We gather on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to thank God for sending His only son, Jesus Christ, to be born among us. Scripture tells us of that humble birth to faithful parents in the town of Bethlehem, fulfilling the prophecy foretold so long before.

That young man would grow to be Jesus of Nazareth - a name that was, and is, known the world over.  Known not simply for the profound Truth that He taught, but for the same Love that was evident in His Father. A love for the poor and lame, the rich and blind, the powerful and weak, that would transform the world, bringing salvation to all men and light to a very dark world.

My prayer as your bishop - and I hope all of our prayers - is that we will leave these services bearing the light of Christ into that same dark world; that we will have the same love for the poor and lame, the rich and blind, the powerful and weak, and that we will demonstrate that love by sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. When we can take up that torch, then we really will have a very Merry Christmas!

Catechism Questions 207 - 210

207.    What is the Seventh Petition?
The Seventh Petition is: “But deliver us from evil.”

208.    What is evil?
Evil is the willful perversion of God’s good will that defies his holiness and mars his good creation. (Genesis 3:1-19; 4:1-8; 6:1-8)

209.    If God made the world good at its creation, why does he permit evil?
God made rational creatures free to worship, love, and obey him, but also free to reject his love, rebel against him, and choose evil – as the human race has done. (Genesis 6:5; Ecclesiastes 7:29; 1 Timothy 1:20; Revelation 2:18-29)

210.    Did evil exist before the human race embraced it?
Yes. Satan and the other demons with him had already opposed God and chosen evil. (Genesis 3: 1-5; Job 1:6-12; John 8:44)

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