From the Bishop: Christmas 2016
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ –
We have come to the season of the year when we celebrate the birth of a baby who not only changed the course of recorded history, but whose life, to this very day, has the most profound imaginable impact on the course of human events.
Christ’s birth confounded the expectations of people of faith and provoked those who possessed great wealth and power from the very beginning. So much of what we now take for granted about God – from God’s presence in the poor and the outcast … to God’s willingness to become vulnerable even unto death … to the incalculable power of human love – was all first and fully manifest in that Bethlehem barn two thousand years ago. The birth of Jesus changes everything.
In this moment, it is increasingly clear to me that most of the challenges over which we wring our hands and lose sleep at night – from dwindling church attendance to the rise of a national political conversation driven by hubris and fear – invite nothing less from disciples of Christ than the continued, determined and joyful proclamation of the news the angels shared in this season all those many, many years ago. The Christ is born. Fear not. God is with us.
This news, for those who receive it and believe it, is as astonishing, and life altering as it ever was. If we live in its light, deeply embracing it as true and let that reality be the verity that guides us as we seek to live authentic human lives every day, our lives will be changed. And our churches will be changed. And the world itself – from the Midwestern plains that we know and love to those territories on the other side of the globe that are the farthest reaches from this place – all will be changed.
That change can begin right here and right now. We have news to share my brothers and sisters. Good news for all to hear: Jesus Christ is born!
In Love & Faith –
+ Bishop Barker