Christmas Blessing 2009
The words of St. Luke resound again in churches, homes, and communities during this season of Advent: “Suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among all with whom he is pleased!’” Luke 2:13-14
While the historical birth of Jesus is celebrated each year, it is not simply the retelling of an historical event. It’s not even an annual remembrance. This is a daily event for those who are born again by the Spirit of God. We are the people who are shaped into the image of Emmanuel; giving thanks to the eternal God who entered into the folly of this world that we might be reconciled to one another and to Him.
God is with us; allowing us to share the same intimate and special relationship Jesus himself shared with God. This moment of Jesus’ birth at Bethlehem is the moment at which the Kingdom of God becomes a reality, where God’s will is done on earth just as it is in heaven. This birth of Jesus into creation is a sign that all creation will be made new as the resurrection of Jesus from the dead will show. This is the hymn of the angels, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace” – not for us alone – but for the whole earth: peace.
Is there any greater cry throughout our world than for genuine peace? Is there any greater need than reconciliation?
It is my sincere prayer that as you worship with family and friends, retelling the Christmas story, you will be reminded that what we are doing is offering glory to our newborn King as we worship God the Father. We pray for the Church, that the invitation “Come, let us adore Him” will echo in every aspect of the Church’s life. We pray for all our elected officials that the presence of God-with-us will guide their deliberations and inspire them to act with virtue and fairness. We pray for peace throughout the world that the word proclaimed in the angels hymn will come to rest on all people of this earth. We pray for those who are too often forgotten, neglected, and abused that they will experience the tenderness and compassion born for us this Christmas season. Finally, we pray for all persons within our annual conference that they will recommit to attending weekly worship and receiving the sacrament regularly as a means of God’s grace in our lives.
As we tell the story of Jesus’ birth, may we give thanks like the angels that peace has come to calm the wild turbulence of our world; hope has come to eliminate our despair; purpose has triumphed over our confusion, and love has come to drive out hate.
May the peace of Christ be with you,
Alabama – West Florida Area