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Christmas isn’t just A DAY in which we celebrate a holiday at the end of the year. Christmas is THE DAY at the end of the year when we remember the news brought by the angel over 2000 years ago: “today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:11 CSB). Christmas is actually the celebration of the BIRTH OF OUR SAVIOR.
Christmas is not only A PERIOD of time in December when we stop for a moment from the everyday hustle and bustle and meet with friends and family over an abundant meal. Christmas is THE PERIOD of the year when we pause, together with our families and friends, and recall the words spoken by the prophet Isaiah almost 2800 years ago: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; a light has dawned on those living in the land of darkness” (Isaiah 9:2, 6 CSB). Regardless of the economic or geopolitical situation in the world, at Christmas we always remember that JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!
Christmas is not just ONE SEASON where we buy and give gifts to one another because that is the custom. Christmas is THE SEASON every year when we hear the words of the apostle John: “For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 CSB), and we are reminded of the most precious gift that God the Father gave to us humans – Christ the Messiah. And motivated by God’s love for us, we also show our love for our neighbor… by giving. This Christmas we prepared and distributed Christmas gifts for the children of one Gypsy community.
Christmas is not just A FESTIVAL, organized or spontaneous, of carols or religious and secular songs sung by anyone, in any way and anywhere. Christmas is THE FESTIVAL that began over 2,000 years ago: “Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people he favors”” (Luke 2:13-14 CSB). Christmas unites the earth and heaven in the grandest concert of worship and praise to God, the Only One who can bring peace to man and peace between people pleasing to Him.
Christmas is not just A REALITY of a ritual that we practice, or an annual tradition that we also observe in our families, decorating the tree with garlands and multicolored lights and placing it next to a manger with live animals or plastic figurines. Christmas is THE REALITY about which the Gospel of John says: “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14 CSB). Christ became flesh and came into the world to restore our broken relationship with God the Father. He said it loud and clear: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6 CSB). And once He came among us, He taught us how to build relationships between us, saying: “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35 CSB).
This CHRISTMAS we want to thank you partners, friends, collaborators, and volunteers for your love and support in 2022.
MERRY CHRISTMAS and a BLESSED NEW YEAR!