A Word From Our Bishop

On November 13th, the Bishop collated the Venerable Jonathan Hoskin as the Archdeacon of Brandon. Joining the clergy of the Diocese in this photo is Archdeacon Andrew Hoskin, Archdeacon Jonathan's father. Archdeacon Jonathan, in addition to his new role, will continue as the Rector of St. George's, Brandon & St. Luke's, Souris.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom then shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
of whom then shall I be afraid?

– Psalm 27:1
(Book of Common Prayer translation)

It is ironic that we dig so deeply, first into Christmas and then into the Epiphany Season in what is the darkest and coldest part of the year. This of course is both a cultural inheritance to us which is the result of the northern hemisphere having its winter in these months. I am reliably assured by friends in the Southern hemisphere that the stories of light triumphing over darkness, of Christmas and the holy family hiding from the evil King Herod on a winter road strike differently in midsummer. 

For us, the triumph of light over darkness, one of the central themes of Epiphany is summed up beautifully by Psalm 27, the psalm which is regularly sung in this season. The Psalm is reminding us of both the faithfulness and power of God to be the very bedrock of our life. That we need not fear any of the slings or arrows that might be sent against us while we celebrate and revel in the light of Jesus Christ which has been a revelation to us. A revelation which is the sovereign act of God for our good.

In the early church, when the teachers and preachers wanted to explain the will of God and the desire of God to love us completely, they used the language of light. Think back to how many prayers you have heard talk about “the light of the world” or ask God to “illumine our hearts”. The scriptures themselves are meant to be “light to our path and a lantern to our feet”. The language of light seems to be a natural one in explaining what it is we are seeking from God, or what God is Christ has been sent to do for us. I want you consider one more way in which light is used in how we think of our Christian life together.

No one gets to “own” light. If you strike a match in a darkened room, the light can be seen by everyone. Depending on where the lamp is placed, the whole room can share in its warmth and power to show the way. Making your way through a darkened place, holding your torch (or cell phone, I suppose) makes the way safer for any who are following.

Share the light! Share the light of God which you have received. Lift it high so that others might find their way to the same peace and serenity you desire in your walk with Jesus. The world is already filled with so much darkness that we need to lift one another up into the light of Christ’s presence, through 

prayer, through fellowship, through our daily life and walk together. We all know the passage “let your light so shine before others that they may see your good works and glorify your father in heaven”. We say it at every baptism, and it is meant not only to be an encouragement, but a way of life for daily living that we might lift one another up. This new year of 2023, let us all commit to lifting one another up into the light of Christ and showing the way forward for those who are struggling.

Do not let judgement or jealousy lead us to darken other’s paths. Let us not lay stumbling blocks before those who may be struggling, but rather let us help one another pray, and ask the Lord to illumine the way forward “out of darkness and into his marvelous light!”


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