Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
The Episcopal Church »  |  The Diocese of Virginia

From Rev. J. Michael Cadaret

Nostalgically, my favorite moment of the church year remains stepping out of the church after Midnight Mass into the stillness and chill that seem ripe for the wonder of the Incarnation.

Ours was a troubled family, and Advent and Christmas were our happiest, most functional times. During Advent, we read each night with the Advent wreath, and we had our Advent Calendars. Getting ready for Christmas, my older brother and I got to be Santa’s helpers, building and wrapping gifts for our younger siblings (because we had found the Santa presents one fateful December morning). Our mother insisted that Santa was real…because children are to be loved, their wonder is to be nurtured, and their hope and innocence encouraged just because they ARE who they are. 

Please remember, as these seasons ramp up and lay claim to our attention and appetites, that there are families that struggle invisibly. Please remember that all our customs, so close to our hearts, are really efforts to savor wonder, beauty, and closeness. Please remember that we desire all this because have been so loved first by God who has entrusted us with His very self. I’ll leave you with a quote from Austin Farrer: 

The maker of the world is born a begging child; he begs for milk and doesn’t know that it is milk for which he begs. We will not lift our hands to pull the love of God down to us, but he lifts his hands to pull human compassion down upon his cradle. So the weakness of God proves wiser than men. Love is the strongest instrument of omnipotence, for accomplishing those tasks he cares most deeply to perform; and this is how he brings his love to bear on human pride; by weakness not by strength, by need not by bounty.