As we read the newspapers we find some commentators are optimistic and some are pessimistic. Both views can find evidence to support their position, but I want today to say that we Christians should be neither optimists nor pessimists, but people with a strong hope in the promises of Scripture and the power of prayer. When the Bible speaks of hope, it is not just a wish, like saying ‘I hope there will be good crops this year’, but it is something definite and certain that will happen.
Optimists hope for the best, pessimists expect the worst, but we trust in the God who is able to strengthen us to do the best things even in the worst times. We are always hopeful because we know that there is a God in heaven who is working out his purposes in history despite, and even through, human sin and failure.
It is dynamic Spirit filled faithfulness to Christ and his Word to which unbelievers are irresistibly drawn. In our modern context we need now to be thinking of mission beyond our borders. In the past we have been the recipients of missionary endeavour and we thank God for those who brought the gospel to this land, but now the sending nations of the West are in deep spiritual and moral crisis and it is time for us to take a lead in global mission.
The majority of Anglicans are now in the Global South and that means we need to take greater responsibility in global leadership. We cannot simply stand by as we see many of the Anglican Churches in the West, including the Church of England itself, being severely compromised by the deepening spiritual and moral darkness of the societies in which they are set.
The GAFCON movement is one way in which global Anglicans are responding to this need. . .I believe this will be a strategic moment in the reshaping of the Anglican Communion to fulfill our vision for global mission and a time when we will experience a foretaste of that glorious gathering of the people of God which Isaiah prophesied.
The Most Rev’d Dr Eliud Wabukala, Archbishop of Kenya and Bishop, All Saints Cathedral Diocese, Nairobi. New Year’s Sermon.