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Bishop Sally Dyck's Christmas Message

Posted: December 23 2020 at 12:00 AM

The year 2020 will be remembered collectively by us in our country and around the world as a very difficult year! On Christmas day we grieve yet again, not being able to safely gather to worship or be with family.

In times like these—whenever bad things happen, especially at the Christmas season—the refrain from a Christmas carol always comes to mind.

The Christmas carol is Good Christian Friends, Rejoice!
Good Christian friends, rejoice
With heart and soul and voice;
Now ye hear of endless bliss:
News! News!
Jesus Christ was born for this!

This? How often have we sung that carol and never really thought about what “this” means?  This, this: this is sorrow, loss, death, hurt, and devastation: Christ was born for this!

The song was written during the 14th century—a time that is often called the Dark Ages due to the prevalence of poverty, prejudice, violence and disease…and death. We have experienced those things this year!

It was written by Heinrich Suso, who was the son of a German nobleman, educated in the best schools of the time, pampered and insulated from much of the hardships around him. But God got hold of him—his heart—and he accepted a call to serve Christ and the church. 

One night he had a dream and the words of this hymn came to him. They were controversial because usually Christian music was very solemn but this song was joyful and joyful in the midst of difficulty. He wanted to share the joy of our salvation no matter what happens to us in life. 

He hath opened heaven’s door,
And ye are blest forevermore.
Christ was born for this,
Christ was born for this.

Whatever you have experienced this year, Christ was born for 2020—and in that, we can rejoice this Christmas!   

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