Beloved in Christ,
Greetings in the name of our incarnate God and Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ!
Glory to that Hidden One, Whose Son was made manifest! Glory to that Living One, Whose Son was made to die! Glory to that Great One, Whose Son descended and was small! Glory to the Power Who did straiten His greatness by a form, His unseen nature by a shape! With eye and mind we have beheld Him, yea with both of them.
Glory to that Hidden One, Who even with the mind cannot be felt at all by them that pry into Him; but by His graciousness was felt by the hand of man! The Nature that could not be touched, by His hands was bound and tied, by His feet was pierced and lifted up. Himself of His own will He embodied for them that took Him. (Ephrem the Syrian, Hymn II on the Nativity of Christ in the Flesh)
As we contemplate during this holy season what it means for the Hidden One to have made Himself known to us, my prayer for all of us is that, especially as this world remains so much in darkness and separation from God, the coming of our Lord Jesus in the flesh would inaugurate in us—perhaps anew, perhaps for the first time—a genuine intimacy with our God.
His love for us is so immense and powerful that He came out of His hiddenness and showed Himself, emptying Himself of His glory and power to become a man, a man Who suffered and was crucified for our sakes. And He Who was untouchable, became touchable by His own will. And so His birth into a life destined for death opens up for us new birth passing through death and into eternal life.
Christ is born! Glorify Him!
Yours in Christ,
Rt. Rev. Bishop THOMAS (Joseph)
Auxiliary Bishop, Diocese of Charleston, Oakland, and the Mid-Atlantic