Christmas message from Bishop Sally Dyck

December 20, 2022 | by Bishop Sally Dyck

Christmas message from Bishop Sally Dyck

Image credit: NASA


Note from Bishop Sally: Before you read my message, please watch this youtube presentation,  which sets the context for my Christmas message. Apologies if it starts with a short advertisement.   
 
If you watch this youtube of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, you journey right into the heart of the Cartwheel Galaxy which is bigger than the Milky Way Galaxy!  The Cartwheel Galaxy is about 500 million light-years away (maybe give or take a light-year or two) in the Sculptor constellation (which I had never heard of until this).  The Hubble Space Telescope examined the Cartwheel in the past, yet the Webb telescope uncovers new views and perspectives, revealing more of the mystery, beauty and awe-inspiring existence of this galaxy far, far away.  
 
Cartwheel’s miracle and mystery lie beyond our imagination!
 
“The Creator of the stars of night,” as the beautiful 9th century hymn goes, is the same God    that sent Jesus into the world out of a profound love for humankind. “Love came down at Christmas” so that we may know God and God’s love.  The humble nativity with a common manger, shepherds, and peasant parents was the setting of God becoming flesh and dwelling with us. 
 
Such a contrast between the God who creates galaxies and the God who loves each one of us intimately and unconditionally!  (Please tell me that this boggles your mind as it does mine!)
 
Throughout Christendom we have repeatedly tried to understand God, perhaps so that we can adequately believe.  But I think the best way to celebrate Christmas is to let our minds and hearts expand beyond belief and to simply receive the mystery of God’s Gift to us in Christ Jesus who was sent by the same “Creator of the stars (and galaxies) of night.”
 
Creator of the stars of night,
Thy people’s everlasting light,
O Christ, thou Savior of us all,
We pray thee, hear us when we call.
 
At the great name of Jesus now
All knees must bend, all hearts must bow;
And things celestial thee shall own,
And things terrestrial, Lord alone. (UMH, 692)
 
Merry Christmas and may its mystery of love transform your heart and mind!


Bishop Sally Dyck is currently serving the California-Nevada conference as Interim Bishop and as the Ecumenical Officer for the Council of Bishops. She is a retired bishop of The United Methodist Church, having served from 2004-2020.