Member Church News: Christmas Messages

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The General Convent of the Reformed Church in Hungary states, “Christmas has a blessed effect of bringing people together and calling them to unity.”

In his Christmas message, United Church of Christ General Minister and President John C. Dorhauer asks all to give a gift to the world, while the UCC leadership has also shared a video.

In his Christmas message, Reformed Church in America General Secretary Tom De Vries calls on Christians to shine a light into the darkness.

Russell Barr, moderator of the Church of Scotland, says, in a troubled world, Christmas shows God’s grace and mercy will not be defeated.

The Joint Public Issues Team of the United Reformed Church, and the Church of Scotland, the Baptist Union of Great Britai and the Methodist Church in Britain have prepared a video message, A Very British Nativity.

President Stuart McMillan delivers the Uniting Church in Australia video Christmas message from Parramatta Mission in Sydney’s west, where filling the hungry, physically and spiritually is the daily work of dedicated volunteers who provide meals and care, laughter and conversation.

While the people of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Vancouver, Washington, won’t be worshipping in their sanctuary on two of the holiest days of the year, it isn’t stopping them from being the church.

Our brothers and sisters at Reformed Worship have shared the prayer below, adapted from “O that you would tear open the heavens and come down,” Joint Service of the Churches of the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon and the Evangelical Reformed Church in Germany:

Prayer for the Persecuted

God our refuge,
we look and see suffering
In Syria, Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan, South Sudan, Nigeria, and more.
We do not want to turn away from the misery
people are suffering.

Together we turn to you,
God of life,
appear in this maltreated world.
Make an end to the horror of war,
make an end to all the violence.
Intervene where humankind is not willing or able
to oppose the daily hell.

We pray that you strengthen our sisters and brothers to live on.
We pray that you equip them to be signs of peace.
We pray that you let them become ambassadors of reconciliation.

We commit ourselves to your will
so you can use us as instruments of peace
that the day shall come
when the captives will be free
and the broken be healed.

We commit ourselves for the wellbeing of the people
that the day will come
when children can play in security
and adults will learn anew to trust each other again,
the day when we celebrate life.

We pray to you, O God,
that this day will come, and soon.
Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly.
Amen.

And, finally, a liturgical poem from our friends at Redcrearte by Leopoldo Cervantes-Ortiz:

Navidad 2016

Llega otra vez el rumor
de un sueño cierto:
la divinidad sale de sí
para acompañar
a sus criaturas

No le basta la eternidad
para su augusta presencia:
viene a invadir con su luz
la oscuridad perpetua

Lucha con ella y del conflicto
—que deja un impacto profundo—
extrae la mayor bendición

Un Dios-humano
que complementa
la creación entera

Un hombre-divino
alimentado con la victoria
sobre el tiempo

Dios nace en el mundo.
Verdad concentrada
en una persona
venida más allá del tiempo.

Dios nace y se queda
enredado con su creación
por voluntad propia.

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