Christmas Message 2015
Hello. Our original plan was for me to tape a Christmas message in front of the United Nations building in New York as a way of sending a message that this Jesus of Nazareth whom we follow came to show us the way to a different world, a world rounded in God’s peace and God’s justice, God’s love and God’s compassion.
I recently had surgery and so we had to change those plans and so I’m here in Raleigh on Capitol Square. Christ Church is here and we’re filming this message here just as a way of giving me a chance to say “Thank you” to all of you who sent cards and prayers in my recent surgery. I’m doing well and I’m coming back to work.
But I did want to say something to you. It occurs to me that this Jesus of Nazareth really does make a difference. And God coming into the world in the person of Jesus matters profoundly for all of us regardless of our religious tradition.
In the park across from the United Nations, the Ralph Bunche Park, the words of the Prophet Isaiah are quoted,
They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks
Nation will not rise against nation
Neither shall they learn war any more
What’s not there is another part of that passage that’s in the second chapter of Isaiah, and it says,
Come, let us go to the mountain of God,
That he may show us His ways and teach us His paths
We who follow Jesus believe that the mountain came to us when God came among us in the person of Jesus to show us the way to live, to show us the way to love, to show us the way to transform this world from the nightmare it often is into the dream that God intends for us all.
So, as the words were spoken on that night when Jesus was born, peace, good will to all people, God bless you, God keep you. A blessed Advent, a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year to all.