The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut

Christmas Message, 2016

What is that light so brilliant, breaking
Here in the night across our eyes?
Never so bright, the daystar waking, 
Started to climb the morning skies! 
What is the light so brilliant, breaking 
Here in the night across our eyes?

Traditional French Carol. Translated by A B Ramse

We are moved by the hush of the night, the quiet calm of candles, and the gentle singing of carols. This quiet stirs our hearts, welcomes our tears of longing and of joy, and blesses us with peace. In the midst of the busy, hassled rush of the Season and pressures of the world we rest in the truth that God is with us; Emmanuel, the Prince of Peace, is born this day.

The gift of the Christ-child born in Bethlehem some 2000 years ago changed the world forever. Jesus, God made flesh, came into a world with an incarnate message of hope and love. Some welcomed his message, but not everyone. Some feared he would threaten their power and security, or were confused by the message of reconciling love. Some were resistant to it. And still others found joy, the rest and peace for which they longed. 

Jesus Christ is the dawn of a new world and the bearer of healing love. We journey to the stable and, finding the Christ child, we will never be the same. The hope we discover nestled in hay and straw is grace and peace incarnate. 

From the peace of the manger, Jesus calls us to move with him, bringing his light into a world of fear and hurt. We are to be bearers of Christ's illuminating “light so brilliant," revealing it to the world, to our communities, cities and towns - from Hartford to Bridgeport, from Newtown to Storrs. We are called to share the love of Christ to the whole world seeking justice and peace in places like Jerusalem and Aleppo.

Graced by God's peace revealed in the manger, let us move us from the stable renewed in our commitment to extend God’s love in Christ Jesus to the world.

- Bishops Ian T. Douglas and Laura J. Ahrens

Christmas, 2016