It’s almost Christmas. It is the time of the year when Christians around the world celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus, the Messiah. One of the characteristics of this season, is the desire to be with family, enjoy our time together and share the joy with those that we most love.

This year has not been easy at all, and this Christmas will certainly be different, for most of us, to past celebrations. I know there have been many tears shed during these hard times. The fear of the unknown has paralysed nations and decision making as we have faced uncertainty. In the midst of this, Christmas reminds us that life is not just about looking back. Christmas is the greatest promise of God fulfilled in the birth of Jesus, our Saviour, and such a promise invites us to look to the future. At the end of the day, as we have sung on many Sundays during 2020, God’s promises are “YES and AMEN”.

2020 has been an unexpected and challenging year, but God has not abandoned us. He has come to help in time of need and has been strength in the midst of the battles and fights that we have experienced and are still facing. As the Psalmist wrote, “The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock where I seek refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I was saved from my enemies.”

Brothers and sisters, all Christians are priests, and called to live under the protection of Christ Jesus “he will cover you with his feathers; you will take refuge under his wings. His faithfulness will be a protective shield.” He protects us and takes care of us. There is no better place, nor greater help in times of need. The reason for our hope is found in the words written by Paul, “Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

Let us not despair in the middle of the difficulties and struggles of life; let us raise our eyes to the One who gives meaning to our lives, a certainty to our future and ensures our Eternity is secure. This world will pass, but God’s Kingdom is eternal.

When Jesus was made man, He established eternal foundations for you and for me. Do you really think we can build our hope and future somewhere else?

“If anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw, each one’s work will become obvious. For the day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire; the fire will test the quality of each one’s work. If anyone’s work that he has built survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will experience loss, but he himself will be saved—but only as through fire” (1 Corinthians 3:12-15).

Our identity in Christ is secure, if we have accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour in our lives. All we have received, every good gift comes from God (James 1:17). How we use what we have received is a personal decision, reflecting what it is in our hearts; this is why we should consider Paul’s advice.

Jesus fulfils God’s purpose and plan. It reaches all of us. We have been saved, rescued, adopted, transformed, renewed and sent by God to fulfil our destiny. As Christians, we are members of the royal priesthood of God that has been called to stand and bring the good news of Jesus Christ to this generation. Age makes no difference - whether 20, 40, 60 or 80 God’s purpose for our lives is being manifested through the strength and power of the Holy Spirit. Our destiny is in the making, we must not give up!!!

Hard as this year has been, the greatest challenge we have as we move forward is to continue to be light of the world and salt of the earth, no matter what hardships arise. As we reflect, we must consider whether we have allowed God to use us to bless others. Even when we have shed tears ourselves, have we striven to console others? Even in sadness, have we found opportunities to bring joy those in despair?

I pray you find real joy and jubilee in Christ, because God’s promises will be then fulfilled in your life. Jesus said, “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.” May God’s kingdom be manifested in your life, and may the Lord prosper your life beyond your own needs, in doing so you will be a blessing to those who suffer the most. This is the reason why I am deeply thankful to all of you who have made it possible to raise over £7,000 in 2020 for the work in South America. THANK YOU!!!

Today, as I write this Christmas letter, I am aware that it could be the last time that I do as Bishop of the FCE South American Diocese. It has been a blessing to have served the Reformed Anglican family in Brazil since 2009. It was a personal satisfaction to bring the South American work into The FCE family in 2014. I rejoiced when the FCE Convocation established the South American Diocese in 2018 and I was honoured that the Convocation entrusted me to be their first Bishop.

Recently, one of my colleagues asked me what I would do once I am not any longer the Bishop of the FCE South American Diocese. My answer was, "I will serve the FCE as long as the FCE wants me." This is my commitment to continue serving faithfully at Christ Church Exmouth, and it is my prayer that the Lord multiply our efforts for God's kingdom giving birth to new churches. 

As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, let us look to the future with the anticipation of a new time where God’s revelation will take us to our destiny and purpose for 2021 and beyond.


Bishop Josep Rossello