Good Wishes for Christmas 2018
and the New Year 2019

“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will towards men...I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day...a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2: 14, 10, 11)

This was the first notice of the good news of the Feast of the Nativity, brought by the heavenly angels on Christmas night, addressed to the shepherds of Beit Sahur and Bethlehem, and through them to the whole of humanity – to each man and woman in every time and place.

Looking at this first announcement of Christmas good wishes, we realise that God is taking the initiative and sending us the first good wishes for Christmas and the new year.

This note from God contains good wishes for peace, joy, health, happiness. This is God himself, for he is both the author and the content.Jesus offers us this New Year present. He asks us to append our signature, especially to its content. Thus, God’s initiative precedes ours, “for in him we live and move, and have our being.” (Acts 17: 28)  He loves us!

The words of God are true and effective, unlike human words, wishes and promises. God promises, and realises his promises, and fills us with his visible and invisible, known and unknown gifts. Our happiness in this year 2019 is to live with him, through him and in him. The programme for this year is summed up in Jesus’ Beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount. “Blessed...happy. Happy!” This blessedness or happiness is the will of God, his note of good wishes for the feast to us all.

Be happy!

Happy Christmas Feast! Happy 2019! Happy life!

Patriarch Em. Gregorios

P.S. My postal address is: The Social Centre Dar al Inaya Salhieh, Saida P.O.B. 17 Lebanon - Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Teachings of Christ

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40 ESV)

Theophany

When You were baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge praise You in song: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Theophany is a Greek word meaning "manifestation or appearence of God".

Random Proverb

"The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing." (Proverbs 9:13 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The soul has followed Moses and the cloud, both of these serving as guides for those who would advance in virtue; Moses here represents the commandments of the Law; and the cloud that leads the way, its spiritual meaning. The soul has been purified by crossing the Sea; it has removed from itself and destroyed the enemy army. It has tasted of the waters of Marah, that is, of life deprived of all sinful pleasure; and this at first had seemed bitter and unpleasant to the taste but offered a sensation of sweetness to those who accepted the wood. Next it enjoyed the beauty of the palm trees of the gospel and the springs; it filled itself with the living water, that is, the rock. It took within itself the bread of heaven. It overwhelmed the foreign host - a victory due to the extended arms of the Lawgiver, which thus foreshadowed the mystery of the Cross. Only then can the soul go on to the contemplation of transcendent Being.

St. Gregory of Nyssa