But 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. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven
and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” Luke 2: 10-14 (NRSV)
Dear colleagues –
As we begin the Advent season, I pray that yesterday’s services were meaningful for both you and your flock. While we want to focus on God’s gift of Jesus during this holy season, I also know how much more there is to do before we celebrate the Blessed Birth in a few weeks.
Each of you are in my heart and in my prayers as you move through this season. The angst in the surrounding culture seeps into the faith community causing discord but our call to follow the Prince of Peace is strong. Stay faithful to the Message of peace, hope, love and joy that is at the center of the season. Keep Jesus near. Hear the call of Jesus: abide in me.
There are surely those experiencing grief over losses this past year. It may even be you. Hear the call of Jesus: abide in me. You or those you care for may be feeling broken or fractured. Hear the call of Jesus: abide in me.
And there are causes for great joy! We are reminded again of the overflowing, abundant love of God in the coming again of the Christ Child. God has pursued each of us with loving persistence. Remember – you are a beloved child of God, so special in God’s eyes that God sent Jesus to share a message of healing wholeness for you. We – you and me, Disciples across the U.S. and Canada, and indeed the world – we are Jesus’ emissaries of that healing.
There is much to do. Be strong in the faith, and may the saving love of Christ be made real for you this Christmas. May you know the fullness of joy with which the angels sang so long ago. Glory to God! Hear the call of Jesus: abide in me.
Love to you in God’s service –
Terri Hord Owens