Anglican Orthodox Church
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDING BISHOP
PO Box 128
Statesville, N.C. 28687
December 25, 2017 Anno Domini – Bishop’s Christmas Letter
And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. Heb 9:22
The modern world cannot brood even the mention of the name of Christ even if they are forced to acknowledge His birth by the calendar year of 2018 which signifies His birth that long ago. The world desires no Governor to rule over their unrestrained behaviors. The atheist knows full well that there is a God in Heaven; yet, he refuses to admit the fact and even rebels at the reminder that there is One who will sit in judgment over him.
Cain desired to worship, too, his own way to the abandonment of truth. He brought fruit from the ground – the ground which was cursed in Genesis 3:17. But Abel brought a proper sacrifice – a lamb, for without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins. (see Hebrew 9:22)
As I was driving home this yesterday from a wonderful observance of Christmas Communion at St. Peter’s in North Carolina, I listened to programs on an ‘oldies’ station that presented stories and carols from the days of World War II and the Korean Conflict. I was struck by the constant theme of Christ in these old Christmas programs even of secular programming. Some of those which were centered around Christ at Christmas were ‘Johnny Dollar,’ ‘Dragnet’, and ‘Gunsmoke.’ The music, though secular, could almost be considered spiritual music today for its absence of immoral lyrics. Naturally, I heard more than one storied theme on “A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens who put love, charity, redemption and faith back in the center of our Christmas observances.
Old Ebenezer Scrooge was transformed, not by the outer trappings of Christmas, but the inner beauty inspired by the very subject of the occasion – Jesus Christ. Read one of Ebenezer’s quotes in the story: “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!” Please note the burning light of this quote – we observe Christmas – not in one day out of 365 – but every day of our lives under God’s Heaven.
The writer of this wonderful Christmas tale wrote: “For it is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself.” ― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
The thrill of Christmas began in our hearts as children. As long as we can return to that blessed thrill of love and hope, we shall be young, but more than this, we shall be blessed in the heart of our Lord. “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matt 18:3 (KJV)
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY OF YOUR FUTURE LIFE!
JERRY L. OGLES, D.D.