A Christmas Letter from Rev. Dr. Peter Reid

Dear Friends,

As we enter the Advent season, I want to share a reflection on darkness and light.

Quite frankly, it’s easy to focus on the darkness around us. In 2022, humanity has experienced its fair share of violence, unrest, famine, floods, drought, and destructive storms. We can feel overwhelmed when confronted with the realities of inflation, poverty, homelessness, a lack of affordable housing and a mental health crisis. Sounds depressing, doesn’t it? What does this have to do with Advent? Where is the good news?

There is much written in the Book of Isaiah about dark times. Isaiah 8 contains the prophet’s words of warning to the nation of Israel. Put simply, things were bad. Many people had abandoned God, and He was not impressed. The chapter ends abruptly with a dismal pronouncement:

“And when they try to find help in heaven and on earth, they will find only trouble and darkness, terrible trouble and deepest darkness.”
(Isaiah 8:21b-22 CEV)

Thank God things didn’t end there! The opening scene of Isaiah 9 bursts in with light—a promise from the Lord.

“… There will be no more gloom for those who were in distress.”
“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light…”
“Rejoicing as at the harvest,”
“The rod of the oppressor is shattered.”
(Isaiah 9:1-5 NIVUK)

What a difference in tone! A great light shines on them, and everything changes. Then comes the climactic moment of this Messianic masterpiece.

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace

(Isaiah 9:6 NIV)

My friends, at one of the darkest moments in history, the God of the universe quietly entered our world in as a child in absolute obscurity, and everything changed. I have noticed that at my darkest moments, God comes to me in an unexplainable way and dispels my gloom, flooding my heart with His light. My prayer for you is that the light of Christ will come and dispel the darkness that is encroaching on your life this Advent season.

I’d also like to mention that this is my final letter to you as Executive Minister. I’m deeply grateful to have had the opportunity to serve our CBAC family in this capacity, and I’m optimistic for the future because I know the Lord will continue to be at work in our neighbourhoods.

On behalf of the CBAC President, Rev. Brent MacDonald, the Council and our CBAC Staff, we extend to you and your family our sincere hope that you will have a joyous Advent Season. Thank you for your prayers, your faithful support of our shared ministries, and your partnership in the Gospel as we continue to serve the Lord Jesus Christ together.

Sincerely,

Rev. Dr. Peter Reid,
Executive Minister, Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada