A Christmas message from the Bishop of Maine

In Advent we wait in the dark for the light we trust is coming.

I think that this year, many of us are feeling alone and isolated in our lives and concerns. We worry for our families and our country and for the future of this fragile earth, our island home.

I suspect it was very much this way when Jesus was born. A small, poor, rural country, occupied by a foreign power, held in contempt for its strange and unsophisticated belief in one God. Who was there to notice or to care about the people of Israel?

But then came the angels and the shepherds. Christmas tells us that God cares and, in fact, cares so much that God has come to live our lives as one with us. Jesus is the human face of God and is right here, right now.

An ancient prayer of praise from the Celtic tradition captures the intimacy of God’s presence with us.

You are the peace of all things calm

You are the place to hide from harm

You are the light that shines in dark

You are the heart’s eternal spark

You are the door that’s open wide

You are the guest who waits inside

You are the stranger at the door

You are the calling of the poor

You are my Lord and with me still

You are my love, keep me from ill

You are the light, the truth, the way

You are my Saviour this very day.

Jesus is with us, right here, right now. May you rejoice in this good news and may you share his light with everyone you meet.   Merry Christmas.

The Rt. Rev. Stephen T. Lane, Bishop of Maine