Dear Students and Friends,
The Holy Night and day are upon us when Christians around the world celebrate the birth of our precious Lord Jesus Christ; when joyful songs and bells ring out, “the Lord is come,” “peace on earth, good will to all.”
Christmas celebrates Emmanuel, the miracle of God with us, and the divine love, peace, joy, and hope God gifted the world 2000 years ago, and brings to us, to you and me, anew today.
Yes, even in this unimaginable 2020.
More than ever this season we need the good news of Christmas, the hope of a Savior.
We may miss many of the beloved ways and traditions we typically use to celebrate. In some ways it may not feel like Christmas. The “holyday” is so different this year due to COVID, but it still comes, with no force on earth, microscopic or mighty, to stop it or separate us from it. For nothing will ever separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:39)
Many of us will be apart from loved ones. Others will risk being with loved ones.
However we celebrate the coming of the Prince of Peace, may we fully open our hearts and minds to the Christ child, and seek to love and live as Christ loves. May we give Christ our hearts and live into the blessings of giving and receiving, and Christ’s call to work for the justice and peace of all people.
May we celebrate the love that connects us to our loved ones, and friends, near and far, and those who are no longer physically with us, having gone home to God, but yet are mysteriously present with us.
While there is much we would like to leave behind in 2020, may we never forget the countless first responders who risk, and for some, even gave their lives for others suffering from COVID; may we honor and remember all those on the front lines, such as the grocery workers, firefighters, school teachers, nursing home caregivers, nurses, doctors, all hospital workers, taxi drivers, janitors, postal workers, to name some.
And may we ever remember the over 300,000 people who died from COVID in this country. And earnestly pray for their families, and do what we can for anyone experiencing loss at this time, and economic hardship.
We pray fervently for all those suffering from COVID and for an end to the world-wide pandemic. We pray steadfastly for racial justice, and peace to prevail on earth. May all of us do everything in our power to protect one another, look out for one another, and have empathy and compassion for each other. “Love one another, as I have loved you,” says our Lord Jesus, who poured out his life in his living, dying, and rising again that we might truly live.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. . . full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
Sending you and your loved ones blessings and love for a merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year.