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Advent message 2019

by Michael Ford last modified 08 Jan, 2020 10:12 AM

Bishop Andrew sent an Advent message on 20 December 2019.

‘I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals.’ Matthew 3v11

The humility of John the Baptist as the Gospel begins is a revealing glimpse into a character known only as a brief but vivid sketch, from wild emergence to brutal end. While eccentric, John is exemplary in a season when our challenge is to step back sufficiently for the Lord to be magnified in our midst.

Rarely do we feel worthy or able to carry what has been asked of us in ministry. And yet the Lord requires his disciples to take up, with him, the burden of our shared humanity. Those ordained in the church of God feel this keenly, for their precious cargo is Christ’s own body, the church.

This can feel unbearable, as we know. At other times, the yoke rests more easily - and it has been my privilege this year to begin learning how it is for you, as we serve together. Thank you, for your dedicated and fruitful work.

Whatever – and whoever- you carry this Advent, may you know afresh the grace of God who, in Christ, daily bears our burdens and carries our infirmity. The church is his own before it is ours and to a darkened world he now comes, with renewed hope and bright relief.

With the assurance of my prayers,

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