ELCA NEWS SERVICE
December 20, 2012
2012 Christmas Message from ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson
CHICAGO (ELCA) -- The Rev. Mark S. Hanson, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), shared a Christmas greeting today with the more than 4 million members of this church. Hanson also delivered his greeting to the ELCA's full communion and ecumenical partners and member churches of The Lutheran World Federation.
The full text of the presiding bishop's message follows:
“I greet you with these words from Luke (2:12): ‘This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.’
“You will find a child -- a child. This year, the Christmas story is inseparable from our deep sorrow for the children of Newtown, all who died and all who mourn.
“We can make no sense of such violence, so we cry out for mercy. And God hears our pleas. God responds with words of promise saying, ‘I am with you. I am with you in Jesus, the child lying in a manger. I am with you in Jesus who has bourn your grief. I am with you in Jesus on the Cross and risen from the dead.
“God’s promise is (that) nothing in all creation will separate you from God’s love in Jesus. So amidst the unspeakable, we can join the angel choir singing, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace.’
“Because our hope is in Christ, we can rejoice in the wonder of Jesus’ birth. I wish you a blessed Christmas.”
Mark S. Hanson
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Visit http://youtu.be/X7p-YLz43cU for a video version of the 2012 Christmas Message.
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About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA):
The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with more than 4 million members in nearly 10,000 congregations across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of “God's work. Our hands,” the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church reformer, Martin Luther.
For information contact:
Melissa Ramirez Cooper
773-380-2956 or Melissa.RamirezCooper@ELCA.org
Living Lutheran: http://www.livinglutheran.com