Bishop Lyght's Christmas Letter

Bishop Lyght's Christmas Letter

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Dear Pilgrim Disciple,

Grace and Peace be unto you in the name of our Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who dwelt among us and whose birth we anticipate with thanksgiving and joy.

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!

Let earth receive her King;

Let every heart prepare him room,

And heaven and nature sing…

                       — Isaac Watts

We give thanks to God for our most precious gift, Jesus Christ. In the midst of all our varied experiences, both positive and negative, our hearts are filled with great joy and hope.

The year 2014 has brought many transitions for the New York Annual Conference constituency. It is important for us to remember, however, that God is in the midst of all these transitions. God will make a difference in our living as pilgrim disciples, as United Methodist congregations, and as an annual conference.

In this Christmas Season, let us welcome Jesus and make room for him in our hearts. Let us light candles of hope. Howard Thurman reminds us that “the true meaning of Christmas is expressed in the sharing of one’s graces in a world in which it is so easy to become callous, insensitive, and hard. Once this spirit becomes a part of a person’s life, every day is Christmas, and every night is freighted with anticipation of the dawning of fresh, and perhaps holy, adventure” (Howard Thurman, “The Mood of Christmas,” p. 19).

As we anticipate the birth of Jesus, let us also look forward to the start of a New Year. The New Year is that time when we experience anew God’s fresh beginnings. I pray that you will experience God’s fresh beginnings in your personal life, in the life of your local church, and in the life of the New York Annual Conference. Amen.

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!