Merry Christmas…

nativitystorypic11.jpgMerry Christmas from PopTheology!  Read on for the 2007 Christmas message from the Presiding Episcopal Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori entitled “Eyes to See:  Finding Immanuel as Immigrant, Wanderer, Child.”  May you have a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year.

In what form will you find the Christ child this year?  The fact of the Incarnation in a weak and helpless babe says something significant about where we focus our search.  I am convinced that it is part of our call to exercise a “preferential option” on behalf of the poor, weak, sick, and marginalized.  The long arc of biblical thinking and theologizing has to do with seeing God’s care for those who have no other helper.  Indeed, Jesus is understood as that helper for all who fail, by the world’s terms, to save themselves.  More accurately, we understand that Jesus is that helper for all.One of the great gifts of the way in which those in our cultural surroundings celebrate Christmas is the focus on children and on those who have few human helpers.  We delight in the wonder of children as Christmas approaches, and many of us make an extra effort to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, and care for the needy.  The challenge is to let our seasonal “seeing” transform the way we meet our neighbors through the rest of the year, and through all the coming years.  How might we begin to see that child in those around us:  strangers and aliens (both Immanuel and Immigrants); wanderers (Homeless, like Mary and Joseph, for whom there was no room); widows and orphans (Social Outcats); babe born in Bethlehem (Palestinian and Israeli alike; or the boy babies whom both Pharaoh and Herod sought to kill); divine feeder of thousands (Soup Kitchen worker); and savior of the world (Peacemaker, Bringer of Justice for All, Reconciler, Just and Gracious Lawgiver…).  If God comes among us as a helpless child, then the divine presence is truly all around us.  Where will you meet Jesus this Christmas?

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