The Christmas cards I ordered arrived last week. I searched to find cards that showed the nativity with Jesus front and center bearing the message, “Blessed Christmas” embossed in gold.
But something was missing. Roll call: Baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, cow, donkey, sheep. No star.
The star of the nativity marks the birth of Jesus as a world-changing God-event. The star is the glory of God shining through from heaven into the dark and harsh reality of the world. Without the star it could be any baby in the manger– oh, miraculous, to be sure, but without the power to heal, release, renew and transform.
So, I bought a shiny pen. And I am painting the star into the midnight sky on every card. The power of God is at work in our world through Jesus, who comes to us as. . .
Light (shining in darkness) | Fire (of the Holy Spirit)
Hope (of the world) | (abundant) Life
Grace (upon grace) | (steadfast) Love
Promise (fulfilled) | Peace (on the earth)
God bless you this Christmas, with light in darkness. And may you be a light to the world and all who live in it.
A l l e l u i a !
Bishop Elaine JW Stanovsky
During the two-year presidential campaign, tension built across our nation like it does as you wind up a jack-in-the-box. Then, SURPRISE, the polls closed and what seemed impossible had happened. Donald Trump was elected the next President of the United States. Half the country is elated beyond their wildest dreams. The other half is reeling in disbelief. Most of us on one side of the divide don’t know many people on the other side.
I’m less interested in what kind of president Donald Trump will be than in his election as a symptom of a grave illness in our nation.
Can it be in 21st century America, that many of us no longer have substantive conversations with anyone who isn’t very much like us in education, income and world view? Have we become separated, red from blue, without even realizing it until this most unexpected election?
Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area,
Grace to you and peace from God, our Creator and Christ, our Redeemer. We, the members of the Oregon-Idaho, Pacific Northwest, and Alaska Cabinets, write to you today as one voice, leaders who are adjusting to this time of transition. We speak as those committed to continuing the value of innovation, the formation of disciples for Jesus Christ, multiplication of faith communities, and the deepening of our relationships to God and neighbor in our Northwest context. Vitality, innovation and excellence were high values Bishop Grant Hagiya brought to us through his example, intellect, faith in Jesus, and servant leadership.