Christmas and New Year Greetings in the Name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
One of the temptations that many clergy have at this time of year is to criticize the secular world for the commercialization of Christmas. There is no doubt about it, the true meaning of Christmas and the coming of the Christ into the world is overshadowed by the Christmas celebrations, shopping, and general frivolity. Yet, we all, to some degree, get swept up into the prevailing attitude around us. On the positive side, we can joyfully anticipate the coming of Christmas during the Advent Season. We can teach our children and grandchildren the awe and wonder of God’s great love for us during the Advent Season as we prepare for Christmas and the coming of the Christ.
I want to make special mention at this time, of the many who cannot appreciate the joy and happiness of the Season due to the loss of a loved one, illness or loneliness. One of the wonderful gifts we have as a Church is to love those whom we know have sadness at Christmas time. Jesus said, “truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Those who are struggling with grief and loneliness are among us in our parishes and are often overlooked. I encourage you to reach out to them.
Once more, we celebrate the coming of the Christ in the midst of our complex and sin-sick world, as he brings Light and Hope for a new day. He comes once again as the babe in Bethlehem born in a manger. He comes to his children at times of sickness, death, loneliness, as well as joy and always with hope. “Lo, I am with you even unto the end of the age.” Our faith may waver at times but may we take heart as we reflect back that his promises are good and his faithfulness is great.
Have a Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year,
The Most Rev. Walter H. Grundorf, D.D.
Presiding Bishop, Anglican Province of America