Dear Friends in Christ,
Once again Christmas celebration is thrust upon us in the midst of already busy lives. Time flows ever onward whether we are ready for what it holds in store or not. The challenge at Christians is often to be ready to greet whatever comes along and that applies also to the calendar call to celebrate the birth and Incarnation of our Lord once more. If we feel somehow that this year is just like any other or that we are somewhat ill prepared, we might remember a few details of the first Christmas to help orient ourselves for yet another Christmastide.
You’ll remember that the stage of the drama of the first Christmas was a stable. The Saviour was born not in a palace or even a comfortable nursery. Many legends and interpretations exist about the Stable. One truth is clear from the biblical account: the place of the birth of Jesus was ordinary, plain, and common. This should bring us comfort. If Christ could have been born in a stable, he can also be born in any of us.
Seldom is Christ born in the satisfied or complacent, in whom everything is snug and in good order. It seems the Christ is most often born in the lives of people who live with frustration and a certain feeling of helplessness who cannot seem to make of themselves all that they wish. The consciousness of this weakness gives them humility and an openness to the Divine.
In his book "The Drama of Christmas," Morton Kelsey offers an inspiration of some new ‘Beatitudes of the Stable’ which reads:
Blessed are the stables, for in one of them the Christ child was born.
Blessed are those whose lives feel like stables and who want to live differently, for in them the Christ can be born.
Blessed are the persecuted and the heavy-laden, those in sorrow, trouble, need, or adversity, for creative love seeks to enter their hearts and be born in them.
This Christmas, we need to swing open the stable doors of our souls and let Christ in. God seeks us like a shepherd his lost sheep. The Holy One seeks us far more than we seek him. That alone makes us worthy to receive what divine love offers us — the Gospel of Christmas!
Christ Church Cathedral will of course celebrate the birth of Divine Love into the world. A schedule for the Christmas Season is here for convenience. Should you be unable to attend one of the Christmas Communions, please contact the Office to arrange for a home visit. It is my prayer that we will once more be ready to receive the Christ—the One who, "full of grace and truth" offers himself to us, and I remain,
Yours in the faith,
Dean of Fredericton