January 15, 2021
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We are now in the midst of Epiphanytide - the time when we remember the manifestation of the Christ Child to the world. Three Wise Men followed God’s star, not knowing what they would find. Instead of a great and powerful ruler, there lay an innocent young babe. They immediately bowed down and worshipped Him, showering Him with their precious gifts. This is when we realize the Messiah was born - not as the one who was promised to the Hebrews only – but as God made man (of the substance of His Virgin Mother, Mary) for all mankind.
This is a season of joy, but also a season of loss. We may remember that Herod had the children of Bethlehem slaughtered after the Wise Men did not return to him. Herod was only protecting his dynasty. The birth of the Messiah was inconvenient to his plans.
In the midst of this time of joy, we have our own sadness to contend with. Most of us have been touched by the current plague. Some of us have lost friends and family. Some of us have had to battle with fear, anxiety, depression, doubt… to name a few of this world’s challenges.
In my conversation Thursday before last with the Bishops of the Traditional Anglican Church, I was made very aware of how “the whole world is groaning,” to use St. Paul’s phrase. It has been a year since the earthquake in Puerto Rico. Archbishop Garcia told our group that the island has now had 13,000 measurable quakes since the initial one January 8, 2020. Bishop Rodriguez of Guatemala and Central America also reported on several hurricanes and volcanic eruptions in his part of the world. Of course, Covid-19 is global; England, South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe and Australia, people everywhere have been disturbed.
The whole world is in turmoil. Mountains, seas, countries and kingdoms rise and fall. The hubris of this “enlightened” generation makes them think they’re in control. But we know the only One truly in control is God. Thankfully, the Holy Ghost has given us the “Fruits of the Spirit,” which are Love, Joy, Peace, Long-Suffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meekness and Temperance. We will need to draw all of these virtues in the months ahead.
May God Bless You as we continue through Epiphanytide and prepare for Lent.
Bishop Owen Williams