In this Holy Season of Christmas we celebrate the nativity of the Christ Child. With the angels we give glory to God. With the shepherds we come to adore him. With the magi we offer our gifts. With all our forbears in the faith we rejoice in His birth.
Even as our eyes are focused on the Child we know that great truth penned by the hymn writer:
Though an infant now we view him,
he shall fill his Father’s throne,
gather all the nations to him;
every knee shall then bow down.
But for these 12 days we do linger around that stable in Bethlehem. As we sing the carol, “Away in a Manger” my eyes always well up as we come to the line, “Bless all the dear children in thy tender care.”
My tears and perhaps yours as well reflect the great love with which we hold our children and grandchildren and the compassion with which we are called to care for so many other children who live with extreme poverty, the ravages of disease and the atrocities of war. I think of the dear children of Sub-Saharan Africa, The Congo, Syria, and Gaza.
As many of you are, I think of those dear children and their teachers who were innocent victims of multiple shootings at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Connecticut. I ask that these children and all others who suffer, be remembered in prayer this Christmas.
As with Mary and Joseph we adore the Christ Child; let us love our own children and let us teach them well. Let us so celebrate Christmas that they come to know its true meaning and blessing for us all.
May love and peace be yours this Christmastide.
Fred Hiltz, Archbishop and Primate
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