My dear family,
Once again it is Christmas, and I am here to wish you a Merry Christmas from myself and from the whole Diocese as we enter this beautiful time of year—a time when we behold—as the shepherds did, coming to Bethlehem. They were told by the angel that the sign they would see was a baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
This is the epitome of vulnerability and weakness, and this is how our God has come among us, so that He could present to us the gift: the gift of the fullness of life that He wishes all of us to have.
Indeed, the Christmas gift that I pray for each of you is that you are able to receive this gift. To receive this abundance of God’s tenderness, love, and mercy, which is shown to us in a wee infant.
This vulnerability is what we are all invited to on our beautiful planet, this wonderful place that we live: to take care.
And what is more precious than taking care of an infant? An infant who has no power, an infant who has no prestige, an infant who has no money—and yet, it is this that draws us towards taking care.
If we could just behold the other, if we could behold the other races, the other nations, behold our planet like a tiny infant, and we could hold that infant and receive this vulnerability, receive this weakness, becoming vulnerable ourselves, becoming weak, so that we can go out and meet all as our neighbour.
Jesus invites us at Christmas to a great gift—not the giving of a gift; Jesus needs nothing from us—but the receiving of the gift of life, the fullness of life so that we, too, can behold the vulnerable, the weak, the poor, and see there the face of God, Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, God With Us.
Brothers and sisters in the Diocese of Victoria, I wish you a very merry, very blessed, and a very holy Christmas.
Most Reverend Gary Gordon
Bishop of Victoria