CBF Christmas Message 2022

    From the Office of the Executive Secretary Treasurer of the Caribbean Baptist Fellowship

    Rev. Anslem Warrick
    Dear Sisters and Brothers,
    Christmas can be celebrated from so many different aspects, but the word that sums up Christmas for me more than any other is Emmanuel, which means God with us.

    The name “Emmanuel” also points to the prevalent biblical theme of God's presence with His people. The idea of “God with us” is the embodiment of all of God's promises to Israel and to all who will trust in Him. God’s plan has always been to dwell with man.

    We are first introduced to this glorious name Emmanuel as the prophet Isaiah peers into the future and catches a glimpse of the Coming Saviour; Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Emmanuel - Isaiah 7:14.
    The Bible opens with humanity living with God in the Garden. When all humanity rebelled in Adam against the Creator we were driven from the presence of God, from dwelling with God. The rest of the bible is God’s rescue mission of humanity. Notice that immediately upon emancipating his people from Egypt, the next major instruction to Moses from God was to build the tabernacle so that God could dwell with Israel.

    God shows his faithfulness and love by keeping his promise. God now lives with and among us. This is why in the middle of the Gospel, Matthew says where two or three are gathered in my “name,” that I am WITH YOU.”  And the Gospel closes with I will be WITH YOU till the end of the age.” In Jesus, God himself dwells with us, walks alongside us and gets involved in our lives.

    The Christmas message ought to lead followers of Jesus to learn to recognize his presence in the midst of our messy and, not infrequently messed-up, world even during life’s most painful, complicated, confusing or difficult times. The Christmas message also clarifies what kinds of actions ought to punctuate His followers’ lives.

    May we see Emmanuel at work in Haiti, Cuba, Ukraine and many places around the globe experiencing war, political conflict, hunger, and poverty, including areas in our Caribbean communities where crime and violence claim the lives and the future of so many of our youth.

    As Christians we have the extraordinary opportunity to witness to the presence of God in our midst by sharing his love, peace, forgiveness and reconciling grace.

    Let us be His hands and feet, indeed His very presence beginning in our own families this Christmas and beyond.

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