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    CBF Christmas Message 2019

    CHRISTMAS MESSAGE FROM THE CARIBBEAN BAPTIST FELLOWSHIP

     

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    My Sisters and Brothers,

    I extend Advent greetings on behalf of the Caribbean Baptist Fellowship. During this season, the John Tradition becomes the point of reference for highlighting the themes of preparation, anticipation and hope.  John the Baptist points us to the One who is our Lord and bearer of good news. Mark, the Gospel writer, entitles his Gospel, “The beginning of the good news, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”

    The good news begins with the witness of two prophetic texts from Malachi and Isaiah that announce a forerunner who will go before the coming of God's Messiah. A messenger of God will go "ahead of you" (Malachi 3:1), one who will: "Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight" (Isaiah 40:3). The messenger or witness or forerunner of this time of fulfillment is John the baptizer, whose description stretches the imagination. He is identified as a wilderness man, “clothed with camel's hair, and a leather belt around his waist” (Mk1:6). Despite John’s unusual dress code and charismatic qualities, his primary intention was not to draw attention to himself, but to the one of whom he is the forerunner: "'The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me, I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals'" (Mark 1:7).

    John's role is that of a servant to the one he is called to serve. Consequently, his baptism of repentance and forgiveness is preparatory in anticipation for the coming of the Messiah. An examination of the John Tradition reveals the comparative powerlessness of John, despite his charismatic qualities, as well as, his condescending unworthiness in relationship to the coming Messiah.

    Advent 2019 invites us to focus on Christ not on self. This is a timely reminder in a world of self-absorption. John had it all going for him, yet he chose to point away from himself to Christ, the Messiah. Selflessness is a Christ like quality that is worthy of emulation in a world of cut-throat competitiveness and rugged individualism. The creation of a “Me Generation” constructed on the axiom of I, me and myself is a reflection of the undermining of African collectivism by the spirit of the age defined by relativism.

    As we look forward to Christmas 2019, I urge us to be inspired by the John Tradition to be neighborly, selfless, self-giving and compassionate, as we care for the disadvantaged people of the world.  

    Merry Christmas!!

     

    Rev. Everton Jackson 

    Executive Secretary Treasurer 

     


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