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Psalm 45, 46; Isaiah 35: 1-110; Luke 1: 67-80

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked
favorably on his people and redeemed them.
–Luke 1:68

The Eve of the Nativity of Our Lord has arrived, and most of us will celebrate the coming of Jesus into the world before this night is over. The Advent pilgrimage which began in hope is this day fulfilled by joy. To our amazement, we who thought we were journeying toward God realize that it is God who has been journeying toward us.

The Savior’s arrival always breaks into this world as the startling gift from God, sent from the heart of the Holy Trinity and propelled by the boundless love God showers upon us. Just when we thought we could make Christmas
happen through our devotion and desire, we learn yet again that it is Christmas which comes to us. From the backwater of Bethlehem, glory floods the earth despite our failures.

The verse above, from Luke’s gospel, was spoken by Zechariah at the birth of John the Baptist. It is the prophetic affirmation of what is already accomplished and what will soon be revealed. This is the day when we encounter the glory of God’s great gift for our redemption. God has looked favorably on his people. Alleuia!

Glorious God, you redeem us through the gift
of Jesus. May we receive your gift with gladness,
for we are yours. Alleluia!


The Rt. Rev. Dena A. Harrison, DD, ’87, ’08
Bishop Suffragan, Diocese of Texas
Board Chair, Seminary of the Southwest
Austin, Texas






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A native Texan, Bishop Dena A. Harrison became the ninth Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of Texas in 2006. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from The University of Texas at Austin and Master and Doctor of Divinity degrees from the Seminary of the Southwest.

Bishop Harrison's ordained ministry includes service as Assistant Rector of All Saints’ Church, Austin; Rector of St. James’ Church, La Grange; Rector of St. James the Apostle Church, Conroe; and Canon to the Ordinary and Archdeacon of the Diocese of Texas. As executive for the West Region of the diocese, she has oversight of churches in the Austin, Northwest, Central, and Southwest convocations and oversees the Commission on Ministry and World Mission.

She is a trustee of Episcopal Relief and Development and serves as Chair of St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System, Houston, and the Seminary of the Southwest, St. Stephen’s Episcopal School, and El Buen Samaritano in Austin.

Bishop Harrison and her husband Larry have two children and five grandchildren. Larry Harrison is a CPA practicing in Austin.