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A season of enduring hope and growing light

Dec 11, 2015

Advent_2015Dear brothers and sisters,


As I began to think about what to write during this Advent and Christmas season, I did what many of us do when looking for the words to say: I went back into the files. I noted that in the past few years, all was not calm. Last December I wrote of the need for reconciliation in the wake of the murder of two New York City Police Officers. Three years prior, I wrote of the sadness and lament we faced after the Newtown school shootings. Again, my heart feels heavy with so many names and places.


This year especially, it is hard to think of Mary and Joseph traveling without imagining also the Syrian refugees. I can’t think of Joseph protecting Jesus from Herod’s massacre without wondering how many parents feel hopeless in protecting their children from gun violence. Suddenly, the shepherds in the pastures, quaking at the sight of messengers from God, seem much more relatable. Not a day seems to go by without a news story that sends shivers down my spine. This December is no different. We are shaken by the violence, public bigotry, and fear mongering that seems rampant in both church and society.


In many ways, this year does not feel any different. We wait with deep and heavy anticipation for God to break into our world, to dispel the darkness, and allow us to sing glad tidings with confidence. But in this time of waiting, we are given signs. We see the radiant beams of God’s presence among us. We do see Jesus in the face of the stranger. We know Christ’s presence at Eucharistic and family meals. And we are reminded as we gather for worship that we are a part of God’s mission for the life of the world.


My hope for each of us this Advent and Christmas is that we remain aware of our active participation in God’s mission that seeks to dispel the darkness. By doing so, we provide the light of God’s presence to others.


Blessings in this season of enduring hope of growing light.


Sincerely in Christ,


Bishop Robert Alan Rimbo



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