Wednesday, December 24, 2014

At the Manger, Together

Dear Friends in Christ,

Tonight, no matter how far away we are from one another, we are near.  Whether we gather under the same roof, at the same table or, whether we are separated by oceans, we are near.  Whether we are separated by time zones or the hurts of the past, we are near.  Whether we are separated by generations, the passing of time, or even death, we are near.

Tonight, all of Christendom makes its way to the manger at Bethlehem.  All of history draws near to the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes.  Angels and men.  Poor shepherds and wealthy kings.  Jews and Gentiles.  Lions and lambs.  Friends and enemies.  God and Man.  In Him, division dissolves and communion is established.

In front of this little baby, we find ourselves together.  Together with God.  Together with one another.  It began with shepherds and wise men, but the procession of pilgrims continues two thousand years later.  All that we have searched and longed for--"the hopes and fears of all the years"--are met in Him tonight.  

We take our places among the shepherds and wise men and gaze upon the child in the arms of  the Blessed Virgin.  As I do so, I am grateful for all of those who are with me.  Tonight, we are together.  To all of you who have accompanied me to Bethlehem and who--by your example, prayers, and friendship--have led me to the Christ Child, I wish you a Blessed and Holy Christmas.  It is a privilege to adore Christ with you.  It is a privilege to be together in Christ.

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