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From Our Bishops

Archbishop’s Christmas message: ‘life does trump death’

Archbishop Colin Johnson
Archbishop Colin Johnson
Archbishop Colin Johnson

By Archbishop Colin Johnson

The Word became a human being and, full of grace and truth, lived among us. We saw his glory, the glory which he received as the Father’s only Son…  Out of the fullness of his grace he has blessed us all, giving us one blessing after another.” (John 1:14, 16 – Good News Bible)

I am conscious of how very fortunate we are and have been when I consider our place in our world both here and abroad. A quick scan of the daily news bears that out. In the world today, we hear echoes of apocalyptic proportions reminiscent of ancient biblical prophecies: wars and rumours of war; earthquake, fire and flood; domestic violence and societal discord; murders of innocents. These are current. They are real. They always have been: current and real.

Yet, even in the face of this, we are called not to lose heart or hope but to stand with confidence and to engage with compassion. It is because of something else, someone else, who is current and real.

In the midst of such chaos, the Word of God comes into human life in the birth of a child, creating space for a different world – a world built not on fear but love, not on violence but peace, not on inequity but justice tempered with mercy. In the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus, life does trump death. Although we all too often fall short in practise, we are bearers of this hope. In the faces of people we have met this past year, in every conceivable circumstance of life, we have glimpsed the face of Christ quietly and compellingly revealed. And we are thankful.

May you in some way, large or small, find grace to remain “steadfast in faith, joyful in hope and untiring in love” this year and all the days of your life.


(The Most Rev’d) Colin R. Johnson,
Archbishop of Toronto and of Moosonee,
Metropolitan of Ontario