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December 2016

March cover image: Wendy Ilott, Holy Spirit's clean energy advocate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rev Susan Johnson, National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada writes a regular column for each issue of Canada Lutheran.

ELCIC congregations are welcome to republish this material in their church publications. Please acknowledge its original publication by including the credit line:

Canada Lutheran, Month, Year, Volume# and Issue#


NATIONAL BISHOP'S TURN


Beloved children of God
How can we share God’s concern for all humanity?

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory.

~ John 1:14a


With these words John sums up the importance of the incarnation, that in the birth of Jesus, God chooses to take on flesh and live among us. When you think about it, it’s mind boggling that God would choose to take up residence in the finite and frail reality of human existence. God commits to walking a mile, or rather a lifetime, in our shoes.

Jesus’ life showed us how important we are to God. We truly are beloved children of God. Jesus continued to show us God’s particular concern for the vulnerable —the sick, the poor, the marginalized. These themes are picked up in one of the Reformation Commemoration sub-themes: Human Beings—Not for Sale. Every human being is to be valued and treated with justice and dignity.

As we prepare to celebrate Christmas, how can we bring these thoughts together? How can we open ourselves up from what is often a family-centred celebration to share God’s concern with all of humanity? What can we do to make ourselves aware that we are seeing the face of Jesus reflected in the faces of those around us?

Can we, like Mary, speak powerful words of justice? (Luke 1:26–38)

Can we, like the owner of the manger, provide a place of shelter for the homeless? (Luke 2:1–7)

Can we, like the shepherds, be open to hearing good news of great joy? Can we be willing to leave things behind in order to go and worship our Saviour? (Luke 2:8–20)

Can we, like the Magi, offer gifts to honour the birth of our God? (Matthew 2:1–12)

Can we, like the holy family, live in solidarity with those who are forced to flee their homes due to persecution and violence? (Matthew 2:13–15)

This Christmas, can we celebrate in a new way as we pray, read, worship, study, serve, give and tell? I pray that you will experience a blessed Christmas and that together we can continue to reach out to a world in need of love, justice, peace and joy.
 

Rev. Susan C. Johnson, National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada writes a regular column for each issue of Canada Lutheran.