News and Views

A Christmas Message from Bishop Easterling

Posted by on


I was recently in a meeting where the following beautiful prayer was offered. It resonated deeply. It simultaneously captured and spoke to the depth of exhaustion, pain, trauma and lament so prevalent among us today. It also answered a question we didn’t realize our souls were asking, “How does a weary world rejoice?” This is not the first Advent and Christmas season when this question was relevant, and yet it has a different profundity this year. May this prayer speak to your heart as it did mine, and may it remind you that even in the darkest of nights, Hope shall be born!

Loving God, in your constant presence with us, we lift our eyes to you and ask,
How does a weary world rejoice?

How does a world, weary in the realities of war, poverty, violence, division, and despair,
find a way to rejoice?

In your constant presence among us, a connectional people,
we turn to you, tired, anxious, doubtful, grieving … and you receive us. 

In your loving presence among us, a beloved community,
we turn to you, longing for joy, inspiration, healing, hope … and you receive us.

In your unfailing presence with us among friends, strangers, allies, or foes,
help us to remember we have stories of hope…we must tell those stories.
Help us to trust that seed-planting actions of justice will bloom in the spring despite a hardened winter ground … we must act.
Help us to pray without ceasing for children, youth, and adults who live in fear and the immense grief of overwhelming losses, whose eyes bear witness, night and day, to unimaginable violence and inhumanities … we must never forget them. 

Loving God, in your constant presence among your people and all of creation,
open our eyes, lest we forget that Holy Night, when a world long laying “in sin and error, pining,”
received the gift of our Savior’s birth that brought it to its knees to “hear the angel voices.” 
Help us to remember that with our Savior’s arrival among us “souls felt their worth,”
and out of despair weary souls rejoiced at the breaking of a “new and glorious morn.”

How does a weary world rejoice? 
With gratitude and assurance, that you, as our Loving and ever-present God, are 
Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer, forever and ever. 

Blessings and peace, this Christmas and always,
Bishop LaTrelle Miller Easterling

Prayer inspired by A Sanctified Art’s Advent resource, “How Does a Weary World Rejoice?” and words from the first verse of Oh, Holy Night, Placide Cappeau, 1847, translated by John S. Dwight. (Public Domain)

Patricia S Tunstall Dec 17, 2023 8:15pm

Bishop and Team Members, may each of you and your families be Blessed with a Joyous Christmas and Healthy Happy New Year. God Bless

Vera Mae Littlejohn Dec 22, 2023 10:01pm

Bishop Easterling ,

Thanks for sharing this most feverent prayer, may it resonate and bring peace
Have a wonderfully blessed Holiday
Peace and blessings to you !!!