Dear friends in Christ,
Once again, we stand at the door of the manger in anticipation.
Once again, our dreams for the world have not yet been fulfilled.
We hear the cries of the earth groaning and cracking under the effects of climate change. We hear the cries of refugees driven from the countries they love by war or drought or economic collapse only to be refused at border after border. We hear the cries of hatred and polarization pulling us apart nation by nation. We long for the fulfillment of the peaceable kingdom promised in the vision of Isaiah 11 where one will rise from the stump of Jesse who lives by righteousness and is faith filled with the spirit of wisdom, counsel and the fear of the Lord, and all will live in peace.
Once again, we stand at the door of the manger knowing that the child born there is the one in whom all hope can and will be fulfilled. In the face of powers and systems that abuse we need once again to see the face of God in that most vulnerable baby. We need to remember how he lived in this world and calls us to follow the way of forgiveness, grace and love. We will be touched again by the ordinariness of a young woman and her partner willing to be parents of this child as we are called afresh to our vocation of bearing Christ into the world.
Once again, we stand at the door of the manger knowing we will find the hope we need to turn back into the world God loves and give ourselves to proclaiming this Good News.
May our hearts be renewed in this hope as we enter the manger again.
The Rev. Susan C. Johnson
National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
Archbishop Linda Nicholls
Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada