A brief message from our Synod Bishop, Laura Bobbins:
That’s how I sense most people are about this Christmas. Maybe even worse than this is that we find ourselves not expecting anything grand. In fact, I feel like we are just waiting for the other shoe to drop.
It’s stupid COVID, again. Not to mention the state of the world: devastation to our south in the wake of tornadoes, unrest in all sections of the world, division in our families and neighborhoods and government and churches. All of this has left us with a bah-humbug attitude – like: do we even have to do Christmas?
I don’t blame us. From where I sit, this seems a perfectly reasonable response to 22 months of shifting sands and upheaval.
Into this I bring you good news of great joy: God comes among us anyway. Always has.
Long ago, God came to the people of Israel who were enslaved and miserable – and freed them. God came to the people wandering in the desert – even after they made a golden calf – and said, “Here try out these societal rules to live by.” God came to a people sent into exile with the words, “Comfort, Comfort, my people!” God came into a stable – a messy back alley stable – to a people who were walking around in darkness.
God didn’t just show up and take off. No. God came in the flesh and took up residence among us, lived with us. And the resurrection and ascension of Christ promises that the resurrected Christ still walks at every person’s side.
Throughout God’s interaction with us, we have never had our act together. It has never been a prerequisite that we get things “right” for God to show up. That is because God showing up is not about us and what we do – God showing up is about the character of God. God showing up is about who God is.
My prayer for you, for your families, for your congregations is that you expect God to show up. I don’t know how; I don’t know where – but expect it. Because this is God’s thing – to show up where and when we least expect it. To show up when we aren’t feeling it. To show up in the messy places of our lives. To show up.
The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it.
Merry Christmas, Dear People of God!
Bishop Laura Barbins