News from the Presiding Bishop December 2016

 

Advent 2016

1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. 4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.  (Hebrews 1:1-4)

In recent reflection on Hebrews I’ve been struck by the extent of the focus on the absolute superiority of Jesus.  Why does the writer take most of the first ten chapters to nail home this one great point?  It helps to understand that the writer of Hebrews is talking largely to Jewish believers who were beginning to drift back to the old religion.  At first they stood firm for Christ against great opposition (Heb.10:23f) but in time, the daily demand of faith in an unseen Saviour began to weary them and they slowly slipped back towards the old religion with its comforting rituals and religious practices. It’s true that the slow burn of nagging unbelief can produce more apostates than the hellfire of harsh persecution.

This should not surprise us. The life of trusting Jesus by faith alone is not as simple as it may look to outsiders.  Its tough to cling to the invisible God day after day, year after year. A number of converts have spoken about the nagging nostalgia for their old lifestyle and religion. The years can gradually take their toll as the disciplines of daily faith are overcome by the spreading cancer of doubt.

So what is the solution to the danger of drifting faith in the unseen Saviour?  Simple.  You need to see Jesus!  That is exactly why Hebrews takes nearly ten chapters to draw for us a glorious picture of the Person (1:1-7:28) and Work (8:1-10:18) of the Lord Jesus. The Introductory verses of Hebrews (above) are the seeds that bear fruit in the entire epistle. Hebrews will show us a striking picture of Christ, the owner,creator and sustainer of all creation (v.2b). God made visible (v.3a). As to His Work, Jesus provided the purification for our sins by His death upon the cross (v.3b) and is now seated as ruler over all creation having completed His great work of salvation for us.  This is the Jesus Hebrews wants us to see (1:1-10:18) and continue to follow by faith (10:19-13:25) until we see Him face to face.

Hebrews brings us the Jesus we need to see this Advent season.  The solution to our daily nagging battle with unbelief will not be accomplished through some renewed spiritual or religious experience.  The answer to our anxiety is not ultimately solved by doctors, lawyers or political leaders. Certainly no amount of presents under a Christmas tree will give us comfort in our faith. We need, above all else this Advent, to see Jesus.  Not just the baby in the manger, but Christ, our Prophet (v.1), Priest and King (v.3b).  The Christmas Babe is our Creator, sustainer and Saviour.

In a world where believers are distracted from their faith by spectacular emptiness and celebrity endorsed sin, we need to pay more careful attention to the remedy of Hebrews.  The solution to a disillusioned, distracted and drifting faith is a renewed look at the Person and Work of Christ.  Take time to see Jesus in Hebrews these holidays. There can certainly be no better thing to do in this season of expectation than to see afresh just who our Saviour is and what He has done for us.

“How shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation?” (Heb.2:3)

May the Lord give us eyes of faith to see our Saviour this Christmas.  

Every blessing to you all over the season and into the year ahead.

Glenn Lyons

Prayer

 

  • Pray for our clergy and gospel workers as they plan and prepare for ministry in 2017. That the Lord will open doors for the gospel to find hearts and bring souls to Christ. Pray for fruit to come from every church that runs with the #REACH500 vision.
  • Pray for the Lord to bring rain to our drought stricken country.
  • Pray for the leaders of our country to rule and govern rightly in the fear of God.
  • Pray for the people of South Africa to bow the knee to the real Jesus this Christmas.

 

Post of the Month

Renouncing Narcissism

November Activities

dec-1

George Whitefield College meeting and presentation.

dec-2

Attending GWC graduation service with Bp. Jomo Mchunu.

dec-3

Confirmees at Holy Trinity Scottburgh

dec-4

Meeting with the Lamontville Church Plant team (KZN) for prayer and site inspection.

dec-5

New building for Christ Church Msunduzi

dec-6

Meeting with the leadership of St. John’s Umlazi

dec-7

P.E. Church and city leaders breakfast. Joining in prayer for Mayor Athol Trollip.

dec-8

Two new members of the clergy at Christ Church Umhlanga. Rev. Graham Heslop, Rev. Steven Gounden with. Bp.Raj Moodley and Rev. Grant Retief.

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