The Most Revd Justin Welby
Last night, at Harty church, on the tip of Sheppey, with the wind howling, lit by candles, warmed by one another, we celebrated the light of Christ that, full of joy and hope, we carry into a world of fear and darkness. In the shadow of Brussels, with the memory of Srebeniza, hope can seem far far away. People here will feel hope has faded because of illness, bereavement, unemployment, money worries, family breakdown. When hope fails, fear draws close, and whispers sly deceits in our minds. On Easter Day hope decisively overcame fear and Christians are called to be witnesses to the hope that is found only in Jesus Christ.
The archbishop of Canterbury has urged people to adopt a New Year's resolution of tackling poverty in their own neighbourhoods. But the archbishop said in his first New Year's message as head of the Church of England that many people were struggling in spite of many signs of hope. He recommended taking up a pledge this year to try to "change the world a bit where we are" .
[Anglican Communion News Service] Isaiah looks forward to God rescuing His people, instantly recognisable, leading them in victory. Hebrews looks back at the great line of prophets and says this arrival is the climax to the whole of history. John starts with those words that send shudders up the spine, consciously echoing Genesis, “in the beginning ……. ”