12/19/2013 12:00:00 AM
CHICAGO (ELCA) -- The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), shared a 2013 Christmas greeting with the 4 million members of this church. The full text of the presiding bishop's message follows:
"O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant."
We all know the story. The shepherds traveled to Bethlehem and found the little Lord Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. But what I think we often overlook is what the shepherds did after they left the manger.
"When they saw this, they made known what had been told about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them" (Luke 2:17-18).
The shepherds shared the good news that God is now with us, has become one of us and remains with us, bringing abundant life to all. As we gather this Christmas to celebrate the birth of the Christ child and hear the wondrous story, let us join together as a church to proclaim the good news. "Christ the child was born for you!"
This time also marks the completion of our observance of over 25 years together in Christ as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. We are a church that belongs to Christ, and we give thanks and praise to God for the many ways in which the coming of Jesus has blessed this church and our world.
It is all too easy for us these days to be constantly aware that this world is fraught with turmoil and danger. The same was true for the world in which Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus lived. But the ultimate hope for all people across all times is the hope God gives us in the Word made flesh, our Lord Immanuel.
"O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord!"
Elizabeth A. Eaton
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Visit http://bit.ly/1eb2wxh for a video version of the 2013 Christmas Message.
About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with about 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