frgavin on December 8th, 2009

Writing for the diocesan iindada newspaper Bishop Bethlehem Nopece in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, made these comments in speaking about the Christmas story.


“…It is with great amazement to notice the difference between being ‘in church’ and ‘in Christ’.

We may be born in the church and grow in her officialdom with long robes and good works, but if we have not found the Babe in the manger of our hearts, it profits us nothing. It is the visitation of justice, love and mercy. It is the kairos of God’s transforming love for each individual and fellow humans. Yet more time is spent by church people back-biting and slandering one another causing unending hurts. We are given a new Command to Love one another. Christmas is that time to love and to embrace; to build and to uplift. Should you have anything against any one, do not hesitate to go (Mtt.18:15-17).”

The Bishop was just as critical of priests and lay leaders when he writes:

“….Yet rejection of one another on racial lines with lots of denials is absurd. This is more vividly displayed amongst the leadership we have in some parishes as we seek to appoint clergy. Some times we often wonder whether we have churchwardens who are ‘officers of the Bishop’ – or wardens of their own self interest and love of power and control with an obscure vision of an incarnate Christ. When shall Jesus live among us in order for him to live in our communities?”

Read the whole letter…

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