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Bishop Rickel’s Christmas Message

Merry Christmas, Diocese of Olympia and everyone watching!

For those of you who love Christmas, I have good news for you, it’s a season, not a day. It runs from this day to January 5, and then to the Feast of the Epiphany, the arrival of the Magi, the 6th of January, so enjoy it, keep celebrating.

Christ arrives, that’s what Christmas is all about. Christ coming into our lives, coming into our world, incarnating love in the midst of this life we share as humans. It’s so easy, and so often the case, that Christmas is treated as a one-day event. There is this remarkable build up, so many preparations, so much anticipation. So many love Christmas, mostly because of the feelings we get, the softening of the world that comes when we are in its grip. All of that’s good and it makes sense, even if most people have forgotten why we do it in the first place.

That incredible feeling is there because the focus, the reason for this season is love, gracious, merciful, forgiving love, exemplified in the very name of the season, Jesus Christ. The gift we can hopefully carry with us all year round, the real hope in celebrating this birth each year is that we will realize that Christ comes to us not on just this one day but every day, in the people we meet, in our homes, at work, in our lives, on the street, on the highways, everywhere. Christ keeps being born, incarnated, made alive and as Christians, we are called to be that incarnation, that reality for all those we meet, to carry Christ in us, to let Christ be born in us, right before the eyes of those we meet, this day for sure but every day.

So that’s my Christmas wish for you, that it continue for the days to come and every day of the year. In that sense, maybe it’s never too early or too late for Christmas. Enjoy this day and these days to come, feel the blessing of love, born into our lives.

Merry Christmas everyone.


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