“We have an opportunity to incarnate, to embody, a different message to the world…” Bishop DeDe Duncan-Probe’s Christmas message

Watch above: Bishop DeDe Duncan-Probe of the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York offers a Christmas message for 2018. What does it mean to embody, to incarnate, a message that love is stronger than hate?

A transcript is below.


Christmas is coming. Christmas comes with a baby, with a refugee, with an infant lying in a manger. Christmas evokes many thoughts and feelings from the past: people we miss, places we’ve been, seasons we’ve shared. But Christmas, in our church calendar, is an opportunity really to think about what Incarnation means.

What does it mean that God came to us? And that God came to us as an infant, with an invitation to be in a relationship; to be loved, and to love in return?

Embodiment. To embody the love of Jesus means we live differently, make different decisions, and see the world with different eyes.

It is tempting in this time to get caught up in sound bites and viewpoints, to forget that our Lord Jesus comes to us as a refugee fleeing persecution, as a child looking for a place to be, and as a Savior with an invitation to new life and hope.

It is difficult in our own time to see in the eyes of another an invitation to salvation, an invitation to relationship. So much competition, so much opposition, and so many real problems that need to be dealt with.

But as followers of Jesus, and in this time, we have have an opportunity to embody, to incarnate a different message to the world. That love is stronger than hate, that love is stronger than fear.

And so my dear people, in this time when so much around us is pushing us and pulling at us, let us be people of the Christmas spirit. People who see in each child an opportunity to love God, people whose doors and hearts are open to the stranger and who are ready to love and to offer forgiveness and hope to an unforgiving and hopeless world.

In this time of Christmas, may you know joy. And may you find the peace and love of Jesus Christ to fuel you and fill you with hope, that you might embody and incarnate the love of God to the world.

Peace be with you.


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