Bishop’s Christmas Message
“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”
(St. Luke 2:11)
These words spoken by the angelic host are from the Christmas Story, passed on from generation to generation for centuries. It continues to spread warm and joyful feelings today, even as it did over two thousand years ago. What is so magical and compelling about this story is that our Savior is born and invites us into a personal relationship with God. Sisters and brothers, think of a time when someone invited you into a personal relationship. These same feelings were the expression of the angels to the shepherds.
The message of Christmas is about God coming among us, not as a lofty king, rather as a humble child born in a dark stable, in the home of a simple yet righteous family. This is the most profound testimony of revealing God’s love for all humans. In the fullness of time, chosen in the wisdom of God, the Son of God took for himself our common sinful humanity in order to restore us to the Creator. He came to transcend evil and restore righteousness, while conquering darkness and unleashing authentic hope in the goodness of human nature. And so, at the birth of our Lord the angels sing with joy: “Glory to God in the highest,” and they proclaim, “Peace to all people on earth”.
It is our story still – Christ is born: let us glorify him with the angels and all creation. Christ comes down from heaven: let us go out to meet him. Christ our Lord is here in the flesh. He shares in the poverty of our flesh that we may share in the riches of his Godhead. In this Christmas season, let us give reverence to the nativity, which releases us from the chains of evil! Let us honor the little child of Bethlehem, who restores us to paradise; let us reverence the manger because from it we are fed with divine understanding, the Word of God!
The Christmas scene is a constant reminder that God gave us family to get through the ordinary days of our lives when nothing much is happening, and the bad days when we feel very much alone. The consoling message of Christmas is that God is a part of our family now as much as in heaven. Part of our joy at Christmas comes not only because God came to our home to share our humanity, but that one day we will share the eternal joy of being in God’s home.
While we clearly acknowledge the times are troubling and uncertain due to health and safety concerns brought about by covid-19 and associated variants, do remember the angels were singing on the day when God almighty was born as human being. Christ was born into this sometimes-disordered world and his coming changed things. He who has survived numerous wars, natural disasters, untold pandemics and epidemics still reigns eternal as our HOPE, JOY and LOVE!
We join with all our Episcopal families across the diocese, and by extension the global Christian community, to honor and reiterate the importance of family life. We are encouraged by this message to gather families and loved ones together to share the spirit of the Christmas season. And I do so cognizant of the caution to observe health and safety protocols. Let me reiterate the need for all of us to be vigilant and wear your masks. Be your own self-advocate!
Also, as we use this time to share quality time with family and friends, let us be mindful of the neighbor at our door who may be unable to experience the joy of the season, simply because their condition in life deprives them of the same opportunity. Let us lend a helping hand to make Jesus part of their holiday experience, so that the light of the Christ child’s divine presence shines brightly for them.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OUR BELOVED SISTERS & BROTHERS IN CHRIST!
We love you!
+San & Lynn