Watch Bishop DeDe Duncan-Probe’s Christmas message:
“Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy.” What an auspicious greeting, especially in 2020. To “fear not.” It seems there’s so much to be fearful of: COVID, job loss, economic downturn, social discord, neighbor fighting with neighbor about elections.
This is a hard, hard time. And it can feel a bit cold, as if Christmas will have no warmth in it this year. But that isn’t true, dear friends. Because the birth of Jesus Christ is not dependent on circumstance and dare I say it, even on choirs singing together or Eucharist.
God is with us as we are. And perhaps no year will tell us that story more profoundly than this year. As we celebrate Christmas differently than we would like. As we celebrate this season in ways that may call us to dig a little bit deeper. To not so easily dismiss what it is to know Emmanuel with us.
You and I are God’s people, and God loves you. God is with you. You are not alone this Christmas. You are surrounded by angels and principalities and powers as our prayer book would tell us. And you are loved by your Diocese and by your Bishop.
May you know in this Christmas season the love of God that is surrounding you. May you feel emboldened by the message of God who has come to us as a baby: for relationship, restoration, and ultimately, resurrection. And may you offer to this world what you hope to find: peace, hope, generosity and kindness.
Know, friends, that you are loved. May you be blessed and be a blessing.
The Rt. Rev. Dr. DeDe Duncan-Probe
Bishop of Central New York