“Grant, we pray you, merciful God, God of unlimited power, Father from all eternity – that the feast of our Lord’s nativity – Jesus Christ’s – to which these rites are a prelude, may be something new to us. May it not pass away but continue forever, so that the wonder of it will always be new.”
This prayer is taken from the Leonine Sacramentary used in the early sixth century. It reminds us of the challenge to make this Christmas a time of great marveling as we contemplate God’s incredible love for us, a love revealed in the gift of His Son Jesus. The Incarnation is our source of hope and confidence that God provides for us now and always. Christmas, as the prayer says, should always be new to us. I encourage you to spend some time reflecting on the Incarnation in your own life. Recall how God has blessed you and sustained you throughout your life. May the richness of God’s love, revealed to us in the Christ Child, never become old and stale to us. Let the wonder of this season fill us with great hope and confidence, that despite all the distractions of the present day; pandemics, racial tensions, political conflict, polarization of peoples, God has come to set us free. For unto us a Child is born, a Son is given, Emanuel, God with us.
Thank you for your continued warm welcome and kindness as I assume my duties as your bishop. A bishop’s role is to gather people together to teach, preach and share the Gospel. I look forward to the day when we are able to put the pandemic behind us and reunite as a community of faith in person at your respective parishes. Until then may we continue to work together to strengthen our resolve to put our faith into action.
May this holy season of Christmas fill us with hope and strengthen our resolve to go forth from ourselves, seeking the good of others, and sharing with them the joy that we ourselves have found in Christ, our incarnate, crucified, and risen Savior! Be assured that you and your loved ones are in my prayers. Merry Christmas to all of you!