Peace to you, dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
May we bring to your attention the Christmas message of our Bishop Vsevolod (will be read in the parishes of Siberian Evangelical Lutheran Church during the Christmas liturgy).
Brothers and sisters,
History has not yet witnessed things that happen to our world today. While there were more devastating epidemics in the past, new laws and restrictions, reaction of the governments of various countries and our own attitudes to the ongoing events are unprecedented. We don’t yet know if our times are the ultimate fulfilment of the apocalyptic prophesies, but we’ll find out, sooner or later.
Likewise, those people who lived two thousand years ago, were not aware that it was in their time that the prophesies about the birth of Christ came to be fulfilled. They didn’t know that theirs was the epoch “when the fullness of the time had come” (Gal 4:4) for the Son of God to be born in Bethlehem from the Virgin Mary. His name was to be called Jesus, “for He will save His people from their sins” (Mt 1:21).
“For nothing will be impossible with God” (Lk 1:37), so all things proclaimed through His prophets come to be fulfilled. The prophesies of old concerning the first coming of Christ had come true, therefore, we can trust all the rest.
The most important thing for us right now is to know that God has everything under His power; all the history is in His hands, and so we are in His hands also. After all, we are not just the fine dust in the world registration (cf. Lk 2:1), but the Lord has died for our sake on the cross and has risen to abide with us and yield salvation to us in Word and Sacraments of the Church.
Come to the church, partake of Christ here, and call unto Him all those near and those far off.
One more thing. During this time, people are incredibly divided; our opinions, conduct, conclusions we make, draw us apart from one another. Alas, such division penetrates the Church as well. Do not succumb to such temptations; make every effort to live in peace with your brothers and sisters (cf. Heb 12:14), respect them and care about them with love.
I wish you a merry Christmas, fathers-coworkers, and beloved parishioners, and I hope for you to enter the New Year with a true heart.
And we wish you all God’s blessings at this Christmas time and New Year!