A Christmastide Letter From Bishop Reed
What made you so small?
-St. Bernard of Clairvaux, 12th century
December 22, 2019
Dear Friends in Christ,
Feliz Navidad! I wish you peace this Christmas, peace such as the world cannot give, peace that Christ alone can give. In these last days leading to our celebration of the Nativity, when the holiday hoopla and mandatory jolliness are most demanding, I pray for us all, abiding joy. In a political and cultural season that pulls us toward despair and gloom, I hope light shines.
The Incarnation is “the still point of the turning world” (T.S. Eliot). The light coming from the manger is our beacon, showing the way home. Let’s turn that direction now, for love of the Love that became flesh for our salvation.
Because it is Christmas, may we dream big, pray like children, and dare bravely; not only to receive wondrous gifts such as peace, joy and light, but that we might give them freely and generously. So then, we are peace-makers, joy-bringers and light-bearers. Not because we had it in us to be so, but because God in his love, has entered fully into this world, into our lives, in his Son Jesus and has made us his beloved, precious children now and forever.
This Christmastide, you might expect me to tell you, “Go to church.” And you would be right. Why would I not want you, like the shepherds, to come and see? Where else shall we go, and what better time? But, the joy and wonder and goodness this Child draws out of us is not only for us, of course. The "joy to the world" we sing so well in church really is to and for the world. The Good News of Christmas rolls outward and emanates onward to every corner and speck of the universe; Emmanuel, “God with us," is truly God with all of us. We hear and see the amazing, redemptive love of God not only in church, in beloved carols and the beautiful accounts in the Gospels, but also in countless unexpected and surprising ways.
Patti and I have had many occasions during this year to give thanks for being part of the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas. Now is another good time to say it aloud. Gracias a Dios, and we are so thankful for you. Christmas is a blessed time to look at our lives in this heavenly light, to count our countless blessings, and tell people that we love them.
And may the peace, joy, and light of Christ be yours to unwrap and share with others.
David M. Reed
Bishop of West Texas