To View the San Joaquin Anglican please click on the sections below. To download or print the San Joaquin Anglican Please click the icon to the right --->
The Bishop's Corner
The Right Reverend Eric Vawter Menees
A very Merry and blessed Christmas to you all!
Christmas is, of course, a good season to reflect on Christ’s in-carnation, something we usually take for granted. Oftentimes when we think of things becoming human, like in fairy tales and myths, their becoming human is a desirable or good thing. Just think of the Little Mermaid wanting feet, or Pinocchio becoming a real boy. It figures that in our myths other creatures would desire to be like us. As a result, people often take a similar position when it comes to God becoming man, which is not a fairy tale but reality. What we don’t think of, though, is that the mere act of becoming man is actually an act of humility. Jesus before the incarnation is the Son, the second person of the Trinity; he is in all places at all times. In becoming man, Jesus limits himself. As Paul would write in Philippians 2, Jesus “emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
In the Church year this humility and obedience of Jesus is seen at multiple points. A week after we celebrate Christmas, the church celebrates the feast of the Holy Name on January 1. Holy Name commemorates the day when, a week after his birth, Jesus would have been named and circumcised according to Jewish law. This is followed by the feast of the Presentation on February 2, 40 days after Christmas. This commemorates the day that, 40 days after his birth, Jesus would have been taken to the Temple, and Mary would have been purified. These days continue the theme of humility from Christmas and show that Jesus also lived a life that was in accordance to biblical law. Even as a little baby, his life was in accordance with scripture. These events show us that Jesus becoming human wasn’t an easy thing, it was tough. Jesus had to put up with all the frustrations that we put up with on a regular basis, but all of it was done out of his love for us. We may get caught up in all of the decorations, food, and music around Christmas – the glittering things that catch our attention – but we need to remember that the reason for Christmas is God assuming humanity, becoming one of us out of his love for us.
“The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) Jesus took on human flesh, experienced every human emotion, trial and tribulation, in order to re-deem humanity. That through his life, death and resurrection, the gap between God and man would be bridged and eternal life may be found for all who received him and believed in his name. (John 1:12)
If we truly want to celebrate this holiday season, we should remember each of these holidays, not with the glittering things that attract us, but with a deep faith that drives us to live lives similarly in obedience to God’s word. May this Christmas season remind you of the humble place among us that Jesus took out of his love for us, and may it lead you to seek him in humility in your own life.
Diocesan youth mission trip
Diocesan Youth Mission Trip:
The San Joaquin Anglican is published monthly by The Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin, California.
Submissions will be accepted for consideration any-time; Contributions must be received by the 20th of the month for possible inclusion in the newsletter in the following month.
Please send these to email@example.com and cc: firstname.lastname@example.org
1300 E. Shaw Ave.
Fresno, CA 93710