Christmas


This is taken from Episcopal Life Online:

The mornings are dark, pitch black until after most of us have begun our days. The hints of dawn in the eastern sky, those streaks of rose and pink that promise more and brighter light, bring hope even in the dark mid-winter. Where do you look for that kind of hope borne on slim rays of light?

Jesus is already abroad, even in the darkness. The hungry one fed, the street people who have their feet cared for, the humble and honored guest at your dinner table — each one offers a glimpse of that dawn, if you look closely enough.

What we have waited long for, ages and eons for, has been born among us. He comes among us quietly, almost stealthily, in an obscure barn, long ago. This child holds all our hope for light. This tiny frame seems too frail to bear our yearning. Yet the nations come streaming to this light even before he is weaned. The divine has come to dwell in our midst, and God’s eternal promise of peace, restoration, and home is made flesh.

Where and how will you seek out this light of the world? In what other frail frames will light expunge darkness? The light grows with our own eager searching, light reaching out to light, divine reflection yearning for its source. May the light of Christ light your way in the darkness, may his light spread through nations besieged by war and hunger, may we continue to search out his light in the dark places of our own hearts.

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop
The Episcopal Church

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Most people don’t know this, but technically, in the Episcopal Church Calendar (and, I’m pretty sure, other liturgical calendars),  Christmas Day is not as major a festival as the Day of Epiphany — which many people have probably never heard of.  I might never have heard of it, if it weren’t for my father, who grew up in the Philippines.  At least, not before I became a priest.

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With all that’s been happening these last couple of days in the Middle East, I want to share the following Christmas Letter from my bishop, Barry Beisner, of the Diocese of Northern California:

Dear Friends in Christ:

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Some people talk about God’s power.  For them, that’s the most important thing about God.  God is all powerful and all knowing and, when you come right down to it, completely overpowering.  And being in the presence of God can be overpowering.  But, for me, that is not one of the more important things about God.  At least, it’s not where my relationship with God starts.

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I’ll be leaving for vacation Christmas Day, after a 10 am service at St. Andrew’s in Antelope.  I’ve been there these past two years half time, and at St. George’s half time.  That’s my final official duty at St. Andrew’s.  When I return from vacation, I will be serving only at St. George’s once again.

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