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Christmas Greetings from Bishop Wenner



United Methodist Bishop Rosemarie Wenner shares the message that the Christmas story is alive today and dwells among us in our neighbors.

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As we celebrate this holy season of Advent and prepare to welcome the baby Jesus,I bring Christmas greetings to United Methodists in churches all around the world.

Every year at this time.I ask the people of The United Methodist Church in Germany, where I am from,to assist me in producing a Christmas card. This year, children from Saxonia were asked to paint what Christmas means to them. Every Tuesday,they visit a small United Methodist church for play, music, arts and fellowship. Many of them never listened to Bible stories until they became members of the "kids'church", as they call their gathering.

I chose one of the cards, painted by a girl named Michéle Inhercard, the manger is a very modern bed as you might see in any German house. Mary and baby Jesus are bedded in comfortable linen instead ofin hay and straw. And a nurse, like any you might meet in a German hospital,takes care of the two.

Would it be better to have bought a Christmas card done by a professional artist? No! I was inspired by the message of the German girl. She understood what I sometimes tend to forget.Christmas happens today! Jesus joins us right where you are and right where I am. He becomes our brother in the neighbor next door and in the stranger of whom I might be afraid. And it is for us, Christians all over the world, to help one another to realize God's transforming presence right where we are. Obviously the kids in that small congregation in East Germany get the point that Christ is their friend. I am grateful to the United Methodists there who are committed to serve their neighbors in a community where Christ is not very well known, as well as to United Methodists everywhere who are reaching out to others and making a difference in their lives.

John's Gospel tells us nothing of the barn, the manger, the shepherds and the angels. But it says: "The Word became flesh and made His home among us.And we have seen His glory, glory like that of a father's only son, full of grace and truth!" (John 1,14).

This Christmas and throughout the year, may Christ dwell among us, so that His grace and His truth will transform us,so that we together with many others transform the world, the world which is different because Christ was born in Bethlehem and because Christ is born at any place where people receive Him as their brother and savior.May you be richly blessed as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior.

"Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;hail th'incarnate Deity, pleased with us in flesh to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel." (Charles Wesley, 1734)


Bishop Wenner shares more about the message of Christmas, and also offers a reaction to the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut in this blog post.

Posted: December 18, 2012