Anglican Archbishop of Sydney’s Christmas message
The Anglican Archbishop of Sydney has described Christmas as a time for reconciliation and has urged people to be reconciled with God and their neighbours. Dr Jensen has delivered his last Christmas message as Archbishop. He retires in mid-2013.
Christmas is reconciliation time.
The carol says ‘God and sinners reconciled’. That’s us.
Fundamentally, we are out of sorts with God, we are trying to escape from him.
But God loved the world and sent his only Son, Jesus Christ. He draws near to us with mercy and forgiveness. The message of Christmas is – Be reconciled to God through his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Love unites us to each other; hatred separates us from each other.
Reconciliation is a big theme for us Aussies.
Notably we need to be reconciled with each other; not least, we more recent immigrant settlers with our indigenous First People.
Reconciliation has to flow out of love. The Bible says we should love our neighbours and that means seeking to live at peace with them and to fix up quarrels.
Love unites us. Hatred separates us. But justice is in there too.
Reconciliation depends on justice being done.
Sometimes we need to make good the fault, to pay back, to apologise, to repair, to mend.
Sometimes, justice means that we take the hurt on ourselves and simply forgive the other person without demanding recompense.
Because of what God has done, Christmas is a great time to fix up the feuds and quarrels and hatreds which divide us.
Are you going to follow God’s way this Christmas? Then be reconciled to him and be reconciled to your neighbours.