This year more than ever I have been aware of the contrast between the commercial hype and superficial sparkle of December in England –they think Christmas started on 1st December – and the deliberate sparseness and darkness of Advent as we wait for the light. Of course, the more we enter into the reality of the pain and obscurity in the world around us, the more open we are to receive the wonder and joy of God-with-us.

Our EFAC family consists of evangelical Anglican Christians in enormously diverse contexts: those living with the starkness of poverty and destitution, those who have suffered violence and bereavement, those who live in daily danger of persecution, those who struggle with rampant materialism and wealth that might not always come from honest hard work. Our world is complex and challenging. But the message of the incarnation is that our God came to share our context, to pitch his tent among us, to touch our earth with the glory of his heaven.

It is an enormous privilege for me to share in this diverse family and know that we are held together by a common faith in a gracious, generous God, by a common experience of the voice of God speaking through his inspired word and by a common trust in the guidance of his Holy Spirit in and through every circumstance of our lives.

Let us join together in humble praise to our Father for sending his Son to the earth to die our death and to rise to new life. May we pray for each other that we may be faithful in following the way he leads us in this coming year.

Bishop Henry Scriven (EFAC General Secretary)