Christmas Letter to HI
- The Rev. Bob Dannals
- Dec 18, 2017
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Dear People of Holy Innocents’,
The word “holiday” comes from “holy day,” a time set apart for attending to the deeper dimensions of our life than ordinary time allows. The Christmas holiday is sacred time both because in it we remember God’s redeeming love for the world in Christ and because it gives opportunity for some of our deepest human feelings to come to the surface. We are masters at hiding and disguising our feelings much of the time. Christmas makes it more difficult to hide than any season of the year. Our real experiences are coaxed to the surface like the sap of a maple tree bubbling through the bark.
Perhaps this is a part of what Phillips Brooks meant in his great Christmas hymn when he wrote of the Child of Bethlehem, “the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.” It is so for us! In the Christmas birth and holiday we rediscover the deepest feelings of our experience — the “hopes and fears of all the years.”
For Christmas 2017 to be for us a time of renewal and anticipation, we must listen to the deep promptings of our lives. For the God in whom “the hopes and fears of all the years are met” is the God who comes to those who seek him. God’s ancient work is that of redemptive love and the restoration of the human heart. To find and be found of him is to receive the finest gift of the season - the gift that the old Christmas stories are about - the gift of ourselves.
Have a holy and happy Christmas, my friends.