The Prince of Peace
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined. (Isaiah 9:2-7)
There are many forms of darkness that we can experience during the Christmas season. There is the sense of anxiety and economic uncertainty as we listen to our politicians apparently unable to compromise on the federal budget, with the threat of going over the fiscal cliff. There is that nexus of grief and fear as we pray for those lost in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. I have heard from quite a few people this month that they aren’t “feeling” Christmas this year and the usual joys of the season seem overshadowed by our grief and uncertainty. And yet the calendar marches forward regardless of our fears or our feelings.
Jesus’ bright and gorgeous innocence is preparing once again to trust us─ all full of very real flaws and weakness─ with his unique extraordinary and vulnerable self. A baby in a barn, a cave, or a trough, in his tiny hands he carries the healing promise of wrongs righted, and peace spread glorious. Along a muddy roadside in DR Congo, under a frond of banana leaves in the cyclone battered Philippines, and here in our grief torn nation, His gentle face shines out to all the “little ones”:
“Fear not!” infinite joy, bright futures, and expanding possibilities.
In His sweet name, we are washed in tidings of Comfort and Joy, and renewed strength, as we are called to be co-creators in this infinite plan. Thank you for your gifts, your prayers and your hearts. Thank you for your triumphant spirits that reflect God’s grace to this entirely loved world.
From our small team to all of you─ Merry Christmas!
Abagail Nelson is Senior Vice President of Programs at Episcopal Relief & Development.