Primates of Ukrainian churches wish you a Merry Christmas

06.01.2023, 18:05
"Christmas" by Iryney Yurchuk - фото 1
"Christmas" by Iryney Yurchuk
Christ is born! Glorify Him!

"Celebrating the Nativity of Christ from year to year, we delve into the sacrament of the incarnation of the son of God in human history, which with the baptism of Rus-Ukraine became an integral part of the history of our people," reads the congratulatory message of the Head of the UGCC Sviatoslav. "This year, when in the Ukrainian sky the enemy is trying to muffle the radiance of the Christmas Dawn with its rockets and bombs, we should pay attention not to the calendar, not to astronomical phenomena, but to the fact that Christ came today to be born in the body of tortured, crucified and wounded Ukraine. This may sound paradoxical, but our victory in this war will come not by the power of the mighty of this world but by the newborn child of God, of whom Isaiah foretold: "For a Child was born to us, a son was given to us; power is on his shoulders; and they will give him a name: a wonderful adviser, a strong God, a father for life, a Prince of peace" (Isa. 9, 5).

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Celebrating Christmas means not being afraid of heavenly joy amid a sea of tears and blood. Allowing Christmas joy to enter our hearts is the key to our resilience and invincibility, our ability to overcome all life's challenges, as explains St. Paul: "I know how to be humble, I know how to be in abundance: in everything and in all circumstances, I am used to being full and hungry, living in prosperity and enduring poverty. I can do anything in him who strengthens me "(FLP. 4, 12–13)".

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"The Nativity of Christ brings peace to the world, proclaims the truth, illuminates the path of righteousness and eternal life, and gives us reconciliation with our Heavenly Father. At the same time, the coming of the son of God into the world encourages us to fight, to fight evil, sin, and the darkness of this age, and without a victory in this struggle, true peace is not achieved...

And now, during these holidays, we ask the Lord with special feelings to help overcome the opponents who brought grief to our home, to help finally expel the foreign invasion from the Ukrainian land, and, thanks to the victory of truth, to establish a just and lasting peace.

As we celebrate Christmas, we are convinced that it will be so, but at the same time, we remember those who defend truth and freedom – our soldiers who are now defending us from Russian aggression. The warmest prayers and most heartfelt wishes are heard today for our newest heroes.

Let us also remember our brothers and sisters who are forced to celebrate holidays in captivity in the temporarily occupied Ukrainian lands. Let us remember our military, civilian, and other unjust prisoners and ask the Lord for their protection and speedy release.

Let us remember in prayer all IDPs and refugees. May God's mercy and help be with you, for Christ himself was a fugitive and hid from the malice of Herod in a foreign land.

Let us remember with a grateful prayer the volunteers, donors and all the people of Good Will who help those in need during the difficult trials of war. May the Lord bless all your good deeds with success and reward them a hundredfold.

I congratulate the president, the government, the Parliament of Ukraine, the leaders of local communities and all those who are called to work for the benefit of the Ukrainian people and serve them on Christmas Day. May the Lord inspire you with wisdom and help you fight the enemy!

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not enveloped it" (John 1: 5), the Gospel proclaims to us. Christ was born - and brought this invincible light, which drives away the darkness of evil," writes the Primate of the OCU Epifaniy in his Christmas greetings.

"Today is the day of peace and God's benevolence, and we, Orthodox Christians, humbly worship our Father and Creator and thank Him for His love not leaving us, sinners," Metropolitan Onufriy of the UOC-MP said in his greetings. "We, people, turned away from God, but God did not turn away from us: God came to earth, assumed our human nature, purified and sanctified it and returned the lost Paradise to us.

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Today we pray for the whole world and for those who raise the sword against us. We pray to God to help them realize that we are all children of one God, that God did not create us to rob and kill each other but to live in peace and love with God and each other.

Once again, I cordially congratulate all of you, dear brothers and sisters, on the feast of the Nativity of Christ. I wish you all health, salvation, courage, and patience in overcoming the difficulties of earthly life. May the peace of God and God's good will fill our land and our lives. May the Star of Bethlehem shine over each of us and help us in the cruel maelstrom of earthly life to find and preserve the truth, which for us, people, is our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ (John 14: 6).

In Christ, we will find the happiness and bliss that we, each in our own way, constantly seek, but which exists only where God reigns. Amen to that.

Merry Christmas!"

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"At the birth of the Messiah, the Angels proclaim: "Glory to God in the highest and peace to the people of good will.'

How we want and ask God that the words of this angelic message be fulfilled here and now. We dream that God will reveal His power, that He will allow us to oust the enemy, that He will break the evil and fierce hearts of the aggressor, that every defender of Ukraine will return to his family alive and healthy, and that all those who suffered from shelling, violence and torture will be healed by the grace of Christ, that those who crossed the threshold of eternity because of military actions will reign in Heaven.

That is why we need to be attentive to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit so as not to miss God and his graces. By listening to the teachings of Jesus, let us follow the Lord. We overcome evil with good. We share with those in need, and we stand in defense of the offended. We do merciful deeds, care for the purity of our souls and bodies, and pray tirelessly. We put our hope in God. We draw strength and inspiration for the holy life from the Triune God, who is the source of peace and justice.

In this Christmas time and on the threshold of the New Year 2023, let's look at Emmanuel together with the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph and repeat:

"Child of God, true Son of the Living God, be glorified,

"Child of God, immaculate Lamb, betrayed for the sins of the world, be glorified,

"Child of God, giver of all blessings, be glorified,

- Child of God, grant our Ukraine just peace and unity!" Metropolitan Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki of the Rome Catholic Church of Ukraine congratulates Ukrainians.

"Dear sisters and brothers, I cordially congratulate you on the wonderful feast of the Nativity of Christ!

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This day brings joy and peace to our souls.

The prophet Isaiah wrote: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulders, and His name will be called: Wonderful Counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6).

700 years in advance, the Prophet writes in the present tense and emphasizes twice that Jesus was born for us. This is a testament to God's immense love for people. The Heavenly Father sent his son into this world not to condemn or punish us but that we might receive his strange peace.

I congratulate you on this wonderful holiday! Let us reflect on the prophetic words on Christmas days –Jesus, you have come to me to give me peace and a life of abundance.

I believe that God will bless those who come to the Prince of peace and listen to the advice of an amazing adviser.

I wish for the war to end in the coming year, 2023. So that the peace and joy of Christmas will take hold of every heart. Jesus will heal the wounds and help Ukraine rise. For He is the father of Eternity, and God is strong to help us! We believe in it, hope for it, and glorify it.

Christ is born! Glorify Him!" the senior bishop of the Ukrainian Church of Evangelical Christian Baptists, Mykhailo Panochko, notes in the Christmas greetings.

Valery Antonyuk, Chairman of the WCC ECB, addressed the Ukrainians with a word of blessing during Christmas.

"Let the Christmas Light shine on us, and through us on the world," urges the Council of Bishops of the UOC of the USA in its Archipastoral Message.

"In the birth of Jesus Christ, creation received Divinity, and humanity got perfection. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the world received redemption. The world is still showing its fragility, and new scars are being added every day, but through Jesus Christ, the child in the manger who became the man on the cross, evil was overcome, and death was overcome for all those who believe in him. A world of division and hatred has found a path of healing and reconciliation. Broken hearts are full of recovery. Lives burdened with the burden of despair were renewed and filled with hope. The darkness of sin and death is forever diffused by a light that cannot be extinguished. Through the Saviour's birth, life, death, and resurrection, the world is saved from the consequences we created ourselves. The Christmas of Jesus Christ changed the world! Therefore, in the midst of the hustle and bustle of life, anxiety and even impatience, let this light shine on us and through us on the world.

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We assure you in our endless prayers for you before God in the Holy Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – that your ability to rise above all the noise and bustle around you will enable you, through your inner peace and comfort, to share the light, love, joy, and hope of Christ with at least one person every day in your life who needs him most."