Pause

That the tiny baby lying in a manger is both fully human and divine… That the Word became flesh and came to live among us… That the Creator of all became a child so that we might know true light and peace and love…

This is the mystery of Christmas.

We call it a mystery because it is hard for us to fathom. We can’t think hard enough to comprehend this love. And yet, in our faithful living and our following, the mystery is made known.

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Listen

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’”) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.

John 1:14-16

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Think

When I was 10 years old, our minister informed me one Sunday after church that he’d talked to my mom, and they decided it would be great for me to go to summer camp. Two weeks later, I arrived at an absolutely beautiful lake and a beach filled with kids. A week later on that same beach, as I was helping my minister load his car, my life had changed forever. I had never experienced a more loving, affirming, encouraging community; and Jesus, who I’d heard about and read about, came to life for me. Being brought to camp was unquestionably the greatest gift of my life.

Decades later, I still go every summer to that camp. I have been blessed to work there and run the camp, and have met some of my dearest friends and the love of my life there. My camp experience is as our scripture suggests, "From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace." God was made known to me in the gift of camp, and I do all that I can to share that gift with everyone I meet.

Brian Prior

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Pray

Giving God, your grace is made known as I continue to share the gifts that others share with me. Show me ways I can extend your grace to others. Amen.

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Go

O God,
who has made the most sacred night to shine
with illumination of the true light,
grant, we pray, that, as we have known
the mystery of that light upon earth,
we may also perfectly enjoy it in heaven;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Gelasian Sacramentary (8th C.)

Brian Prior

The Rt. Rev. Brian N. Prior is the 9th Bishop of the Episcopal Church of Minnesota and has been involved with youth and camping ministry since he was a young person.

Advent Reflections: Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming

Joseph Martin

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