Almighty God, you have given your only-begotten Son to
take our nature upon him, and to be born [this day] of a pure
virgin: Grant that we, who have been born again and made
your children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed
By your Holy Spirit; through our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom
with you and the same Spirit be honor and glory, now and
“And the angel answered her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.’” – Luke 1:35
December 12, 2014
When we move through the season of Advent and approach the great feast of the Nativity, we have so many distractions and so many reasons to lose our focus. Picking just one aspect of the story of the Nativity of our Lord is difficult, but if we take the time to reflect on just one aspect of the account, it will help us to slow down through our Advent and Christmas so that we can receive the gift the church gives us year after year.
One of the gifts of the season is the fact that, for faithful Christ following Christians, the church year is filled with season after season of different emphases and invitations to go deeper into the life of God with us. This is the gift that keeps on giving throughout our life, if we can recognize that this is not a holiday, but a holy day, a feast. It is a feast of seeing and hearing—ingesting and digesting—more of what God has done and is doing in the Church, “his Body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” (Eph.1:23)
When we come to the Christmas Eucharist with well prepared hearts, open minds and willing spirits, the invitation of the collects and the scripture can not only deepen our understanding, but also enlarge our common participation in Christ’s saving acts and holy life.
So we who are “born again and made his children by adoption and grace” can, by his Holy Spirit, look upon the Child that is holy and see the one who makes us holy. The one who causes the genuine affections of the community at worship to grow and flourish. We are transformed again and deepened in our love for Christ and his salvation for us, our family and friends and his Church.
Let us prepare to receive the invitation and come to the Christmas Eucharist hungry to be fed with the gift that this season has for us.
May the joy and wonder of this Christmas fill our hearts to overflow with his love and grace to all.
Christmas Blessings to you all,
The Rt. Rev. William L. Murdoch
Bishop, Anglican Diocese in New England