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2021 Christmas Message from Bishop Marsh

The Diocese of the Northeast

The Bishop's Christmas Message


My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This year, as we await the coming of the Christ child, we know a good deal about the

world in which He chose to be born. There is little that surprises us. This world, filled as it is

with much that we love, is still a difficult and dangerous place. We have experienced those

difficulties and dangers in our lives, more especially during the past two years. Perhaps we

wonder: how could God choose to live here? We do remember, though, that this is God's world,

a gift given to us all. Despite all our challenges, we have much to be thankful for. But we do

remember that there are many who are suffering, many who grieve, many who are lost

spiritually. It is a broken world in which we live, one that needs desperately to be drawn again

to the saving grace of God's love.

As we prepare for Christmas, we are reminded that Jesus was not born into an emperor's

palace, where he might have worn purple robes; rather, he came to us in the most humble of

circumstances, dressed in clothes that might well have served as burial garments. He came to us

as a tiny child, frail and vulnerable, needing the love and care of a world that was all but

indifferent to his presence. There was no room for him in the usual lodging places of this world;

He was born homeless that He might lead us to our one true home.

There is a manger scene that we all know very well. It is not set up in the town common or

the lawn of our neighbors' houses or even in our parish churches. It is, rather, placed deep

within our hearts, in the lost places where the noises of the world can barely reach. We all know

that place; it is a place of intense fragility; it is a place where the hope of the world will find its

lodging.

We look at the child in that manger scene. We ask ourselves: can this truly be the God of

our creation and redemption? We know the answer to this question; the answer returns to us as

a memory that has been with us always, a truth beyond all human knowing. And as we reach

out to embrace this tiny infant, we know that the hope of all the world is come to us at last.

Your Brother in Christ, +Brian



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