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  Easter 2017 letter from Bishop Charlie Masters
... pdf version

Holy Week, 2017

My dear brothers and sisters in the Anglican Network in Canada, partners in the gospel,
It is my joy and honour to greet you all this Holy Week on behalf of our team of Bishops and their wives: Bishop Stephen and Nona, Bishop Trevor and Dede, Bishop Don and Trudy, Bishop Ron and Jan, Bishop Malcolm and Mary Lou, and my wife Judy.

After a brief testimony in Psalm 34 where David says:
"I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them."

He then exhorts us,
"Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!
Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!"

This Holy Week I trust and pray that you each will set aside time – a special, rich and private time – to meet with the Jesus who died and rose again for you. Then join with the people of God in your local ANiC fellowship in the special Holy Week pattern of corporate worship where we, together, draw near to Jesus, in reverence and praise.
"…for He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed." 1 Peter 2:24

With David, I exhort you and encourage you: "taste and see that the LORD is good!", for truly in this increasingly dark, precarious and dangerous world there is only one place of safety: "Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!"

Jesus is a mighty deliverer who has rescued us and in him alone there is joy and peace and great security. The sting of death is gone. Jesus the Good Shepherd who laid down his life for the sheep says in John 10:27-28: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand." No one can snatch you out of his hand. By his death and resurrection He has laid claim to His own and in His hand we are secure.

So please, dear friend, taste and see that the Lord is good. Drink deeply of His cup of salvation.

And having enjoyed the benefits of His passion, don't keep them to yourself! These days I find myself praying more fervently that our first diocesan ministry priority, of all of us becoming an army of Bold Witnesses, would be realized more and more.

David, having personally experienced the goodness of the Lord, then gave testimony to him: "I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears". Let us seek the LORD to deliver us from fear!

What you and I have in Jesus Christ our family, friends, neighbours and work colleagues desperately need. Would you pray for opportunities to give personal witness? Would you seek to become more skilled at giving witness to Jesus? And would you pray for courage, to winsomely and lovingly take every opportunity to give witness to him?

I pray your answer to each of these questions will be a solid "Yes". For surely this is God's Heart! Shortly after His resurrection, Jesus said that the Holy Spirit is given to equip us to be witnesses to Him. "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." (Acts 1:8)

For Jesus did die and He is risen in victory from the dead. All this has been eternally accomplished. Let's enjoy the glorious benefits of His victory and share them. For as an old Gaither song rightly says: "there's plenty of room at the table."

Finally, as we worship and witness in relative security, please join me in remembering in persistent prayer our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ – especially the Church in Egypt which suffered such a devastating attack on Palm Sunday. May the Risen LORD be their strength and comfort.

So my dear friends, as you taste and see that the Lord is good, and as you give testimony to Him, may the Risen Lord bless you this Holy Week and Easter and make you a blessing to this dark needy world that He loves so much!

Every blessing in Him!


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