Episcopal Diocese of Rochester
Joy in Christ, as a way of life

Love came down at Christmas

December 1, 2008

Dear saints,

Love all lovely, love divine; Love was born at Christmas: Star and angels gave the sign.

These precious lines, from a hymn by Christina Rossetti, are packed with wholesome meanings that point to possibilities. We are invited to wait and listen during Advent and to journey to Christmas as we consider love. We are reminded of star and angels as sign. While the DOW and NASDAQ are signs that point to market trends, stars and angels point to love.

During times of financial stress and wintery bleakness, we are invited to consider the stars, and dance with angels to create God’s future.

Who are the stars and angels in your life? Those who help point you toward love instead of fear? Consider hanging out with people who are signs of love during this season so that you can be a sign of hope to those who settle for their limitations. Jesus reminds us that perfect love casts out fear.

“Argue for your limitations and they’re yours,” says Dr. Richard Carlson, in his book, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. Often we suggest to ourselves reasons to cut ourselves short. We look at results later and nod in agreement that limiting ourselves proved to be right all along. Seldom do we also look back to consider the possibility that we played a pivotal role in writing our own self-fulfilling prophesy of “settling” and succumbing to our fear.

Our world desperately needs saints with viable visions emerging from love. Only such visions can resolve our anger and frustration with ourselves, the environment and each other. Christmas is that unique portal in time when we find ourselves at the threshold of divine lowliness, which gently beckons us to create signs that point to LOVE instead of indifference and hate. Let us worship the Christ Child, and let our worship be such a sign that our love of neighbor will be an intentional consequence.

Roja, Ned, Eklan and all the saints at D-House join me in wishing you a joyous Christmas, and peace and goodwill in the New Year!

Your Servant in Christ,


VIII Bishop of Rochester