You have heard me say that the Great Crossing of the Cathedral is the place where many conversations rightly occur. The conversation between art and science; faith and reason are but two examples. This year, at this time just before the celebration of the Nativity of our Lord, I find myself keenly aware of the crossing of years.
2010 is drawing to a close. Around the Cathedral there still seems to be so much to do: the final preparation for our festival celebration on Christmas Eve, to finishing touches on the Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day Service (Dec. 21), pastoral visits, letters that so need to be written for so many wonderful things, the business aspects of year end, and so forth. All before the year’s end. I am sure you can quickly rattle off an even more impressive personal list.
2011 is drawing close, and with it the centennial anniversary of the dedication of this great Cathedral (save the weekend of May 22nd) — living stones, if you will, continuing to make a living witness of people, presence, mission and ministry. So much to anticipate and celebrate … and therein lies the risk.
We cannot, we must not, allow ourselves to become so caught up in the business of holidays and year end, or in the anticipation of a new and better year, that we forget the miracle right before us. More than angels coming to shepherds on a hillside, and Magi sojourning to a child, God came down to earth that humanity might be raised to heaven (with apologies to St. Athanasius). Salvation has come into the world!
At the heart of the Christmas message, St. John’s Gospel tells us “The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” As we all stand at the various crossings of life, may the light of Christ that breaks forth again, as it has for two thousand years, illuminate us now and ever.
A holy Christmas to you all,
The Dean, Wardens & Vestry
The Staff & the Chapter of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul