You are here

The gift of the incarnation

"The Adoration of the Shepherds" by Gerard van Honthorts, 1622

"The Adoration of the Shepherds" by Gerard van Honthorts, 1622

“The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 2:10

Dear Companions on the Journey,

Every Sunday we return to the good news of Christ’s presence among us. While we look forward to celebrating Christ’s entry into the world all through Advent, the story of Christ’s presence does not end with Christmas. Instead, it begins. It also begins in our individual lives as faithful people and in our common life as the family of faith.

What a relief to know that through, in, and with Christ we have a fresh start. Nothing, including the complexity of our circumstances, the humiliation of our failures, the brokenness of our spirits, the limits of our faith, nor any other obstacle can alter the life-changing impact of Christ’s presence among us. Forever and for always we are blessed with a new, growing, and ever-present relationship with God.

Shopping lists of presents will come and go. Resolutions and plans for a new year will come and go. The seasons of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany will come and go. And though all manner of things may come and go, one thing will not change: Christ’s presence remains with us to this very day.

The good news the angels shared is true for us too. Christ’s presence transforms, heals, comforts, and compels us to live a life that is expansive, hopeful, compassionate and generous.

In these seasons of waiting, gifts, and light, can you imagine Christ’s loving presence with you? Amidst navigating celebrations and gatherings, could you embrace the transformation Christ’s presence brings? Would you be willing to hear, see, know this good news in every area of your life?

Christ’s incarnation is more than an offer of peace and comfort. It is a boundless invitation to the life God has planned for us. When we step into that life, then we also live as the people God created us to be. This more than a Christmas gift. It is a gift that resonates beyond our homes, families, and Christmas plans. A gift that can change households, congregations, communities, cities, states, nations, and the whole, wide world. This is the gift of life in Christ, offered to us, ours for the taking.

Listen for this, the good news. Rejoice and be glad, and then let the gift of Christ’s presence continue to transform your life and the world around you.

Grace and peace,
Bishop Hughes

Add new comment

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). The Communications Office of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark reserves the right not to publish comments that are posted anonymously or that we deem do not foster respectful dialogue.