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

“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26 ESV)

Encounter

Rejoice, O Mother of God, Virgin full of grace. * From you has risen the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, * shining upon those who are in darkness. * Rejoice also, you righteous Elder; * for you received in your arms the Deliverer of our souls, * Who has given us resurrection. (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.

O Christ God, through Your birth You sanctified the Virgin's womb; * and blessed, as it was proper, the hands of Simeon. * Now, having come, you saved us. * Give peace to Your commonwealth in times of war * and strengthen our civil authorities, whom You have loved, O You who alone loves mankind. (Kontakion, Tone 1)

(The Feast of the Encounter is February 2nd - the 40th Day of Christmas)

Random Proverb

"One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want." (Proverbs 11:24 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The "principal characteristics" of the zealot according to knowledge are the following: "fervent love for God and neighbor, gentleness, religious tolerance, forbearance, graciousness of manner."