Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Father Jim's Christmas Letter

"Oh Thou, whose glorious, yet contracted light, Wrapt in night's mantle, stole into a manger; Since my dark soul and brutish is thy right, To Man of all beasts be thou not a stranger; Furnish and deck my soul, that thou mayst have A better lodging, than a rack, a grave."
George Herbert (1 593 -L 633), "Christmas" 

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

This is a season of "decking the halls", preparing our homes to receive guests and family, baking Christmas cookies and cakes, readying holiday feasts, and making sure that we have presents for everyone. It is very easy to get caught up in the busy-ness, and to put all our efforts into making sure that everyone is well fed, pleased with their gifts, and fulI of happy memories.

But the trappings of the celebration can overwhelm us, and divert us from the real purpose of Christmas. We decorate our homes and tables, but leave our hearts and souls cold and dark.

We remember a king who was born, not in a grand palace, but in a dark cave, to take on our nature and live among us. As we celebrate this Christmas season, may we remember to prepare our hearts as well, cultivating generosity, respect, and kindness. Then Christ may enter in to be born in us, to dwell with us always, transforming our lives and bringing peace and joy, not only to ourselves, but to all those around us.

May you have a blessed Christmastide.

Yours in Christ,
The Rev. James B. Pratt

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