Christmas Message 2007
Heads of Churches
"He came to his own, and his own received Him not. But as many as received
Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that
believe on His name; which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the
flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."
St. John, ch.1 vv.11-13
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
1. Another Christmas is upon us and still we seek Peace for this Holy Land
amidst continuing hardships. At the same time it is important for us to
reflect carefully on what the Evangelist is trying to put before us about
God's gift to us of Jesus, born in Bethlehem's manger, together with the
clear response God asks of each one of us.
Amidst our difficulties, we need to meditate upon what links us in the same
time to God and this land. In this Land, we ask for our freedom, for the end
of the Occupation. We mention the difficulties coming from "the Wall of
Separation" that has transformed our cities into big prisons. With God, we
are linked because our dignity comes from His dignity, and we are His
children and the work of His hands.
And we must keep in mind that it is not fleshly descent or human effort
which makes us the children of God, and it is not human strength alone that
makes us strong. Rather it is faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Eternal
Word of God. Christmas reminds us that our faith is not only a human
belonging to a group, or to a community different from the others by its
religion, We are called to make a personal commitment to Jesus. Such a
commitment tells the world and particularly those around us that we are
prepared to witness and live by our reliance on Jesus the Word of God, born
in Bethlehem, and who brought to us durable and firm peace in our hearts.
2. So often human beings believe they are capable of making peace through
their own efforts; demanding conditions of their own choosing. However, when
God gave us His Son to be born of a human mother and to experience all
aspects of human life He did so in order that we might discern the way to
resolve our difficulties from His example and teaching. Therefore we pray
for ourselves in order to understand the strength God gave us when He gave
us His Eternal Word born in Bethlehem. So we pray for our political leaders
that God may inspire them and make them examine their conduct and demands in
the light of God's commandments always remembering their own accountability
to Him, in this very life and in the process of the conflict itself..
So dear Sisters and Brothers whilst we are truly conscious of the many
problems of unemployment, poverty and frustration which many of you continue
to face each day, we would still urge you to remember the words of the
May "the peace of God rule in your hearts ..." and "the word of Christ dwell
in you richly in all wisdom."
Colossians ch.3 vv. 15, 16
We as Christians must continue to offer our prayers to God for all those
around us who are struggling to care for their families, not least the young
children and the elderly. We rejoice with those families now enjoying the
company of those recently released from prison whilst persisting in our
efforts to encourage the release of thousands more who have the same right
to have back their freedom and return to the joy of their families and
Amidst our sufferings, we share the sufferings of the others. We have a
particular thought for the countless thousands across the world who have
endured great disasters as a result of the devastating cyclones and
subsequent floods of recent months. We pray for them. And for all of us we
repeat the verse of the Gospel:
"God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
St. John ch.3, v.16
3. To our Sisters and Brothers across the world: we are greatly encouraged
by your continuing pilgrimages to this Land: we thank you for your presence
with us. During your pilgrimage as well you learn at first hand of the
difficulties of your fellow Christians here as well as following in the
footsteps of our Blessed Lord. Thank you for your prayers and the many
expressions of your love and care for everyone here.
If Peace is to come to this Land it needs even greater effort from all
concerned - ordinary citizens as well as Political leaders.
Christmas reminds us that God gave us the Prince of Peace to be born in
Bethlehem so we must all seek that peace for everyone in this Holy Land, be
they Palestinian or Israeli, Christian, Moslem, Jew or Druze. He tells us
that we are able to make peace and overcome all obstacles with the power
which the Prince of peace, born in Bethlehem, brought us.
We wish everyone a truly Happy Christmas and God's richest blessings on
their homes and families.
Jerusalem, December 2007, Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches in Jerusalem
Christmas Message-2007: The
Message of Love and Peace
Itís nothing but the pure love of God towards the mankind that has made
God to send his only begotten son. There is no doubt about that. His
decision made into truth around two thousand years ago. This would be
the most basic belief which we all learned from the day from which we
started hearing about Christianity.
A Blessed Christmas - 2007
The sublime nature of celebrating the Divine Nativity of Christ, our
Savior, is related to one's response to the Blessed Child born in
Bethlehem 2000 years ago. The response of the innkeeper is relevant
in contemporary times; when Joseph and Virgin Mary wanted to find a
room where the Heavenly Child could be born. He was not unfriendly,
but his inn was packed, his hands were full, his mind was
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