WE ARE ALL MEANT TO BE MOTHERS OF GOD. WHAT GOOD IS IT TO ME IF THIS ETERNAL BIRTH OF THE DIVINE SON TAKES PLACE UNCEASINGLY, BUT DOES NOT TAKE PLACE WITHIN MYSELF? AND, WHAT GOOD IS IT TO ME IF MARY IS FULL OF GRACE IF I AM NOT ALSO FULL OF GRACE? WHAT GOOD IS IT TO ME FOR THE CREATOR TO GIVE BIRTH TO HIS SON IF I DO NOT ALSO GIVE BIRTH TO HIM IN MY TIME AND MY CULTURE? THIS, THEN, IS THE FULLNESS OF TIME: WHEN THE SON OF MAN IS BEGOTTEN IN US.
—MEISTER ECKHART, 1260–1328
Dear siblings in Christ,
I wonder how 13th century German theologian and mystic Meister Eckhart would prepare his Christmas sermon in 2020. What good is it to us if Christ’s birth takes place unceasingly, but does not take place within ourselves this year? What good is it if Mary is full of grace, but we are not? What good is it if we are individually full (or partly full) of grace, but Church of Our Saviour is not?
Individually and collectively, willingly or unwillingly, with excitement or with trepidation do we each approach Christmas this year. We are all tired. Perhaps we are scared, or frustrated, or grieving, or lonely, or lost. Perhaps we are all of those things at once.
I write you this day to invite you to a holy and even joyful Christmas celebration. Even in 2020. Especially in 2020. This year like every other, we will gather to celebrate God’s universe-altering act of love brought about through the birth of Jesus Christ. We will gather in prayer and celebration while we hear stories, hymnody, and liturgy reminding us that God is being birthed, yet again, against all odds, in our midst.
At 4 pm on Christmas Eve (12/24), COS will hold our family Christmas Eve service + Pageant. This can be viewed digitally on Church of Our Saviour’s website – www.cosepiscopal.org, or you can attend a video showing of the Christmas Pageant on the patio, followed by in-person outdoor Eucharist.
At 8 pm on Christmas Eve (12/24), COS will simultaneously play two Festival Eucharists, one in English and one in Mandarin, with full sermon, on our website.”
At 11 pm on Christmas Eve (12/24), COS will offer a solemn Lessons and Carols service with Eucharist. This is a new offering at COS for 2020. It is intended for those who might experience Christmas Eve in a more somber or sober way. If you would like to end your Christmas Eve celebration with prayer and contemplation, this is the worship service for you.
At 10 am on Christmas Day (12/25), Bishop Diane Bruce will be offering a worship service in English, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese. COS will email instructions abut how to access and experience it.
As usual, our Christmas planning involves additional costs outside our budget. To that end, I am requesting a contribution toward the 2020 Christmas services at Church of Our Saviour. Your gift of any amount will help us to provide music, liturgy, preaching, and pastoral care this Christmas Celebration. Last, I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas. We are better because you are a part of our community.