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

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’" (Matthew 7:21-23 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

"My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live." (Proverbs 7:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

It was said about John the Little that one day he said to his older brother: "I want to be free from care and not to work but to worship God without interruption." And he took his robe off, and went into the desert. After staying there one week, he returned to his brother. And when he knocked at the door, his brother asked without opening it: "Who is it?" He replied: "It's John, your brother." The brother said: "John has become an angel and is not among people anymore." Then he begged and said: "It's me!" But his brother did not open the door and left him there in distress until the next morning. And he finally opened the door and said: "If you are a human being, you have to work again in order to live." Then John repented, saying: "Forgive me, brother, for I was wrong."

Sayings of the Desert Fathers