2009 Christmas Greeting

Tough times. Unsettled lives. Uncertain futures. This final year of the first decade of the twenty-first century has had its challenges. Living in this present reality one can begin to feel helpless. What difference can I make … in my church, my community, my work-life? For that matter what can I do by myself to change the course of life in this society and world? So why bother?

In fact, life circumstances occasionally leave us feeling helpless. Yet, as we gather around the manger of the baby Jesus, once more this year, we are reminded that though there are occasions when we may feelhelpless, as Jesus people, we arenever hopeless.

God’s gift of Jesus to us and this world is what we can offer our family, our friends, our community and our world … in times of joy and celebration and perhaps even more significantly in times of uncertainty, doubt, tension, and fear.

We have a word of hopeto offer the world in this season … joy to the world, the Savior has come! Christmas joy, in other words, isnotabout somehuman hopewe generate,butis aboutGod’s hopeoffered in the infant Jesus. Rationally we know that, however, in practice sometimes we become confused, and in our words and our actions we confuse the world.

My sisters and brothers, adore the Christ Child this Christmas Season. Immerse yourself in the story of the Emmanuel born in Bethlehem. Hear the story of Jesus’ birth with fresh ears during these holy days; and though you may encounter moments in 2010 when you feel helpless, remember always that because God so loved the world the Almighty came as the infant Jesus. Therefore, we are apeople ofhopebecause we have theWord of Hope,Jesus, with us now and forever.

Merry Christmas!