"Light your candles quietly, such candles as you possess, wherever you are."
- Alfred Delp
"What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."
- John 1:4-5
There is a blessed tension every Christmas between the light we can offer and the light for which we must wait. We all have our own candles to light, so that others might find consolation and hope. The light of God is something else, a gift that shines for us and sometimes through us, in ways that defy human understanding. At Christmas we do our best to provide the best light we can, while we wait for the light that Christ promises.
Thank you for the many ways you offer light to those around you. Thank you for the gifts you give so freely in your communities of faith and through ministries of compassion and justice for God's people far and near. Thank you for the ways you wait in hope for the coming of Christ's light into your hearts, and for keeping faith in the light of Christ that will not be overcome. I am honored to celebrate my first Christmas among you.
Last night, as I wondered where on earth I would find time this week to buy Christmas presents for those I loved, I went to the Episcopal Relief and Development Gifts for Life website. There I was able to give, in honor of my family, gifts that will provide life and opportunity around the globe.
If you're still looking for a way to express your love to another this Christmas, I invite you to consider a gift for life.
May God bless us all as we share our light and wait for the light of Christ.
Mariann Edgar Budde
IX Bishop of Washington