A Christmas Greeting from the Dean

DECEMBER 24, 2013

"Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and angels gave the sign."

-Christina Rossetti, Time Flies: A Reading Diary, 1885

Welcome to the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine as we celebrate Christmas!

Across the ages we have been invited to listen to the sounds and to open our eyes to the signs of the Gift.

We hear again Isaiah's prophecy:

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness – on them light has shined.” (9:2).

We receive anew the reassurance of those long-ago angels, as they say, “Do not be afraid.”

We remember how The Holy Family responded, as well as others who allowed themselves to be uprooted so that they could follow the Star.

Lest we allow the many voices that distract us and seem at times to drown out the message of God’s love to veer us off track, we return to the message of Christmas to be restored.

Each generation can be deafened by the cacophony of voices of uncertainty, violence and hatred. Today we are challenged, as we ponder the message in our hearts, to dare to be open to and transformed by it.

As we are asked again by God this Christmas to hear that call to courageous action, we look around us – in the glorious Cathedral and elsewhere – and see the diversity of all the people of God who share in that gracious invitation.

Jesus has been birthed again into the human story. "Love came down at Christmas," and we need no longer be afraid.

Reassured that we are part of God’s plan for salvation, we can dare to respond to God’s call with faithfulness. We can become advocates for peace and justice, who build up God’s people and God’s creation.

Because God so loves the world – revealed so clearly at Christmas – we have the power to respect the dignity of all people and all life on this planet.

That is the Incarnation: the Word made flesh that dwells among us in Jesus of Nazareth.

May you hear the angels speaking to you this Christmas. And may you represent the Light which will overcome all darkness and fear. Merry Christmas!