Greetings to you in this Holy and Blessed Time of Peace and Goodwill to all.

The deer and elk meandering by the church, the trees coated with snow – shimmering, pristine… all so peaceful and beautiful and filled with the presence of God! These moments of surpassing beauty and peace come to each of us- maybe it’s a sunrise or sunset; or the smile of a child, or a friend; a time when God breaks in, and you know without doubt that God is present… He has come!

His life here showed us that we are loved and are not alone. Such a precious gift. Love Divine come to us as a baby, God’s only son, with us – Emmanuel! God Present! We approach this miracle anew each year with anticipation, awe, wonder and joy! As did the angels at the time of Christ’s birth, we rejoice in the astonishing news of Emmanuel with us~ Come and sing out with joy! The peaceful candlelight and luminaria, the hope and expectation of children and adults alike, the wonderful words of hope and prophecy fulfilled- all await at St. Philip’s~ 5:00 pm and 9:00 pm Christmas Eve, and 11:00 am Christmas Day. If you cannot come to St. Philip’s, wherever you are, and whatever you do, may you experience great peace, and be filled with the hope, joy, and love of Christmas!

I would like to end my Christmas greeting with words from Fra Giovanni’s letter to a friend on Christmas Eve, 1513~ they remain a beautiful and profound blessing, and I pray them for you:

There is nothing I can give you which you have not got, but there is much, very much, that, while I cannot give it, you can take. No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in today. Take heaven! No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant. Take peace!
The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach is joy. There is radiance and glory in the darkness could we but see – and to see we have only to look.

I beseech you to look! May the radiance and glory of the Christmas gift be with you!

Vicar Janet