Christmas Letter, 2009–December 23, 2009

Dear Friends,

Today we are celebrating the birth of John the Baptist and in two days we will celebrate the birth of  Jesus.  Both will die violent deaths, both will suffer much.  For me in the celebration of Christmas I am always reminded of the suffering Jesus in our midst.  As I walk the streets the next three nights, as I celebrate the Eucharist the next two days,  as I feed those who have so little, I am reminded of the Suffering Jesus, but in the midst of that suffering I am also reminded that Christ was born to bring hope, to bring the hope of a life far better and in that hope I live, move, and have my being.

Someone commented several days ago that I have seemed to be happier, more at ease, more at peace with life.  And she is right I am.  The past few years I have come to understand that as humans we all suffer, and we will all die, and that it is living in the moment, trusting in the One whose birth we celebrate  this week that real joy comes.  Life is not easy period.  And I have found that in embracing life in all of its fullness with the presence of the Christ that there is much joy.  For me it is not about having material things, in fact the older I become, the less I desire, but it is in reaching out and walking with the people who have so little, and who need so much both spiritually and materially that I find real joy.  I walk the journey to which I was called before I was born in my mother’s womb, and I give praise to God for that call.

And so this my fifteenth Christmas on Polk and the Haight, on this year of our Lord, 2009, I wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas!  May Christ being joy, meaning, and hope in your life.

In Jesus, Street, Person, and Rebel,

Father River Damien Sims

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