Saturday evening, December 20, 2008
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
As we share this weekend in the Fourth Sunday of Advent, my prayer is that this has truly been a season of spiritual preparation for each of you. Hopefully this has not been a time that has been lost in the busy preparation that normally precedes Christmas, and usually found amidst tinsel and crowded shopping centres.
Advent is a time of special preparation, and it should carry for each of us an emphasis on the coming of Christ, and our preparation for that great day when he will come again. In keeping with this are those moments during which we can look at ourselves, our relationship with Jesus, and focus on the gift God has given to each of us — the gift of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
As we enter into these last days before Christmas, may our hearts and minds focus on the unfolding story of this gift, the story that begins with a word from the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, “You shall conceive and bear a son, and you shall give him the name Jesus.” (Luke 1:31) It continues with his birth, his growing up, and his life as an adult — teaching, healing, being rejected, his death, his resurrection.
This story goes on today, and as we gather in our respective places to share20in the celebration of the Christ Mass, we’re doing more than merely rejoicing in the birth of a child. We’re celebrating God’s gift — his love. A love that will never give up on us, a love that reaches out to us, a love that became visible when Jesus was born in Bethlehem. This love never ends. “O come, let us adore him!”
With best wishes and prayers for a blessed Christmas, I remain
Faithfully in anticipation of the Newborn King,
The Rt. Rev’d D. Bruce MacPherson
Bishop of Western Louisiana