Christmas 2019: A promise of reconciliation and peace

The Adoration of the Magi (detail), Painter: Michael Damaskenos, late 16th century.

Christmas message from CEC President Rev. Christian Krieger:

“For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore.” (Isaiah 9: 6-7)

Around the world, Christians are preparing to celebrate God’s entrance into the world and human history. We do so while in many places people are struggling for their rights and aspiring for dignity, justice and peace. The evils of our world, such as war and violence, hate and egoism, social injustice and self-sufficiency, and destruction of the natural environment, cause pain and suffering to our brothers and sisters in many places.

From Hong Kong to Chile, from Beirut to France, lasting social demonstrations, are often led by young people, rejecting the current political elites, and claiming the fullness of life and just peace. Feelings of insecurity, dissatisfaction and fear has led to growing populist discourses, reinforcing the establishment of authoritarian regimes. More than ever, the world is suffering and waiting for reconciliation and unity.

In a few days, we will celebrate God’s entrance into the world and human history as a Child. With the birth of a Child, the world received a promise, the coming of the prince of peace. God comes in the midst of our humanity and creation as a promise to inaugurate a time of hope and growing peace.

In the words of Fr. Luke Veronis, “Christmas reminds us that God has not forgotten humanity, nor abandoned his creation. In fact, God has come to us, and even become one of us! Christ tasted life as a refugee, as a poor villager of an oppressed people. Christ witnessed the suffering of the masses and faced violence, oppression, and death itself. Christ understood the evil that our world can produce – He tasted it, He confronted it, and ultimately, He overcame it!”

In the Christmas Child is given to us a promise of reconciliation and peace that reveals God’s love, which overcomes all the threats, even death itself. This is the Good News and Great Joy, which the angels proclaimed to the shepherds, this is the news we received and have to share with our brothers and sisters. In Christmas, we celebrate the coming of Christ, who reveals a radically new path in life.

A blessed Christmas to you all!

Rev. Christian Krieger
Conference of European Churches

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