«And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.» Luke 2,10-11

Angel of the Lord speaks these words to shepherds, who saw the Glory of God. But they also relate to us today.

“Fear not” – is a plea to trust God’s messenger and to heed God’s message. This message is filled with joy because it proclaims the Saviors birth.

More than 2000 years ago, ordinary people, just like us, who witnessed the cruelty of occupants and social injustice, were first to be invited to see the Savior, whom the whole world so desperately needed. Today God has the same message to His Church: “Fear not”. Despite the painful experience of war, losses, fears for our lives and the lives of our loved ones, and uncertainty about the future, God is still near us. God is near, as the Advent texts remind us. But in this joyful anticipation we receive yet another message from the author of the Psalm, which we read for Christmas:

«Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth» Psalm 95,11.13

Rejoicing in God’s presence and His justice, we continue praying for:

  • an end to this war
  • protection of our warriors and healing of the wounded
  • those, who relentlessly serve others: rescue, medical, and utility service workers, volunteers, and all those, who in any way are involved in helping others
  • those, who lost their loved ones and won’t celebrate Christmas together with them
  • people, who live under constant shelling or try to settle in the new place
  • all those, who are struggling daily with the effects of war and aggression against the civilian population
  • a just peace to prevail, for the crime to be called out and punished

May you have a blessed Christmas!

May the Lord grant the power of hope to everyone, who believes in Him!

The bishop of the German Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Ukraine

Pavlo Shvarts