Christmas Message from El Salvador
“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men and women of good will.” (Luke 2:14)
My friends and members of the Episcopal Anglican Church of El Salvador, of the Province of the Anglican Church of the Region of Central America, of the Anglican Communion and, in general, to all who enjoy good will, peace and love in all their dimensions and consequences:
For us Christians, the birth of Jesus or the Incarnation of God in humanity signifies the deepest human expression and, at the same time, the divine expression that God has in God’s infinite will of love and accompaniment to God’s creation. The human being is especially the central axis of creation.
It is for this reality that, at the knowledge of this event in this moment of history, the Holy Scriptures mention there is great joy and the Angels sing, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men and women of good will.” This message is not only true for Christians; it is also valid for all, because in one form or another all people need to give glory to God.
All religions have expressions of praise and glory to the Holy as each one conceives it. We respect profoundly the ways and expressions of prayer of other religions. We know and are convinced that we are surely giving glory to the same God or the same Divinity that has infinite ways of self-expression with God’s sons and daughters. We invite all to fulfill the most sincere expressions of glory to God, especially in these times when we are about to begin a new year, with new decisions and new intentions, that our future plans will be guided by the Holy Spirit. The text that we have cited says, “and on earth peace to men and women of good will.” This is precisely what we have needed for the past several thousands of years – people of good will, governors, rich and poor… for all people in the world are asking with urgency that we make an effort to be people of good will, that there not be natural disasters, because all disasters are the consequences of the lack of men and women’s good will. Unfortunately, we have created a mentality and structures that destroy God’s creation.
It is for this reason that in this message, I respectfully invite us to begin to be people of good will. In this way, we will be able to change the injustices and inequalities that there are in the world. If one of these days we decide to give glory to God with the firm will to construct justice, we will have a world where there will be peace, unity and love between all human beings.
May this same God of life bless us and give us the strength to fulfill God’s Holy Will, that “ we love one another as ourselves.”
The Most Rev’d Martín Barahona, San Salvador, 22 December 2008 Bishop of the Episcopal Anglican Church of El Salvador Primate of the Anglican Church of the Region of Central America (IARCA) Vice President of Foundation Cristosal Moderator for Mesoamerica of the World Conference of Religions for Peace