“Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy!”
These words of the angel to the shepherds of Bethlehem keeping watch over their flocks are proclaimed every Christmas Eve by the church. They are words of comfort, not only to those 1st century shepherds, but also to us, the church in western South Dakota, as we celebrate another Christmas in challenging times. It is appropriate that the Good News of Christ’s birth was first announced in the darkness of night to humble shepherds. Jesus did not enter the world in the splendor of a palace in the midst of worldly comforts. Though he was rich he made himself poor. He descended from heaven to confront the darkness of our world and defeat it in his saving passion and death. A
s we celebrate his birth this year in the midst of a pandemic and in the midst of all the problems we see in the world and even in the church, I invite you to turn to Jesus Christ and center your life on him. He is the only one who can give us real hope in the midst of our struggles. The fallen world often lets us down, but the Lord never will. Put your trust in him. He is the light that entered the darkness of our world on that first Christmas to defeat the powers of sin and death. There is nothing we face this Christmas that the Lord Jesus did not take unto himself on the cross. He knows our fears and our disappointments and our sins. He was born to save us from them.
My prayer for you and those you love this Christmas is that you open your hearts to Him. He is the answer to our broken world. This day in David’s city a savior has been born for you — Jesus Christ our Lord.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Wanikiya Tonpi Wowiyuskin nahan Omaka Teca Oiyokipi!
Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo!
+Bishop Peter M. Muhich
Diocese of Rapid City