2008 and a New Path
Arise, shine; for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
When they saw that the star had stopped,
they were overwhelmed with joy.
See… don’t tell the song is lost
have faith in God, have faith in life.
We have just celebrated the Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ, a moment of feeling and living the manifestation and presentation of the child Jesus who came to bring light to our path.
A moment to point to the universality of Christ’s salvation, a moment to deepen in the feeling that as a Church, we have to be always in mission, being a sign of welcoming and transformation to all humankind.
Epiphanytide is a moment to walk towards Jesus: “In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem” (Matthew 2,1). They have followed the path from the West to Jerusalem. A path of many disputes and conquers.
We have followed several paths, and in 2007 there were many advances. We have received among us for the first time the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori; the Primate and the Secretary-General have been part of an annual conference of USPG, walking together and strengthening in mission; we have organized the National Diakonia Consultation, a new path for the Church’s social actions, we have taken part of the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council’s meeting, a historical path, retaken after 25 years without taking part of such a meeting.
Many other routes were followed in 2007, in our Church life. To walk is to go following a trail or rhumb. To walk is an action that demands movement. Surely we were mistaken in some of these paths, even knowing the right destination address. This is the moment to redo some of them, following the signs that point to new events and to the History we are building together.
So, in 2008, let us follow new paths enlightened by Christ’s light, with happiness and intense joy. Let us reaffirm and follow new paths. Let us try, another time, the ways we followed wrong, because, as the poet says “the song is not lost, have faith in God, have faith in life. Try again”.
On 2008’s path, I request the church to walk:
With much Dedication
May Christ, Son of God, enlighten our way with Good News of His Kingdom.
The Most Rev. Maurício Andrade
Primate of IEAB