VOICES

Rejoice! Our God Comes To Save Us

Archbishop Paul D. Etienne's 2019 Christmas Homily

St. James Cathedral, Seattle

On this Holy Night, we experience once again what the Prophets foretold of old. The One who is to comfort God’s people is born. (Isaiah 40) The desire of all nations, (Haggai 2:6-7) of every human heart is found wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

The human face of God

“The angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.’” (Luke 2:10-12)

Live in the light of Christ

I had very little appreciation for the summer and winter solstices until I lived in Alaska. As we all know, the earth makes one revolution around the sun every 365 days. Due to the tilt of the earth on its axis, the northern hemisphere is closest to the sun during the summer, and furthest during the winter. The winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year and the longest night. It marks the transition to lengthening days and shorter nights.

Rediscovering our greatest identity and mission in Christ

One thing I’ve regularly heard since my arrival in Seattle is a desire on the part of our people to see a renewal of the life of the Church. While I recognize we face challenges, both within and outside of the Church, what I primarily hear is a desire for us to recover our fundamental identity in Christ, and to live out the basic mission of the Church, which is to proclaim Jesus Christ and his gift of salvation to the world.