Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Christmas message during the Romanian Prayer Breakfast, in the Palace of Parliament 8 December 2011

On 8 December, the national Romanian Prayer Breakfast took place in the Palace of Parliament in Romania. This event was organized by the Senate, the Chamber of Deputies and the Ecumenical Prayer Group of the Romanian Parliament in collaboration with the ECPM. I was invited to share a Biblical message. Please find the text of my message here

We are now in the time of Advent. The word ‘advent’ itself means ‘coming’ and refers to expectation and hope. The hope that is shown in the birth of Jesus of Nazareth who leads the world from darkness into light, the fulfillment of the the promise of God’s Kingdom. This message was first announced to the virgin Mary by an angel. The angel explained that God saw her purity and had found favor in her and that she will give birth to a Son and are to give Him the name Jesus. "He will be great and called the Son of the Most High" (Lukas 1:32). Feeling blessed and happy by these words, Mary wrote a beautiful song, that clearly shows how she was expecting the coming of Jesus. 

Therefore I would like to invite you to read with me a few verses from Luke 1:46-55 from the Holy Scriptures:

And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord, and my Spirit rejoices in God my Savior for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed for the Mighty One has done great things for me- holy is His name. His mercy extends to those who fear Him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with His arm; He has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones, but has lifted up the humble. He has lifted the hungry with good things, but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and His descendants forever, even as he said to our Fathers”

I would to meditate a bit on this special song. The main question I was asking myself was: how am I expecting Jesus -and rhetorically: how are you expecting Him- how are we expecting Jesus this moment in the time of advent? Mary started with happiness. She said that “her soul is glorifying the Lord, and that her Spirit rejoices in God.” She called God “her Savior, and that His mercy extends to those who fear Him from generation to generation.” God is not a Divinity who is far away, but a God close to us and “mindful of the humble state of His Servant”. 

Advent is an expectation of hope and peace. Peace in our hearts, peace with God and peace with the others. Mary exclaims further also that God is the ruler of the world. Everything is in His hand. “He has brought down rulers from their thrones, but has lifted up the humble. He has lifted up the hungry with good things, but has sent the rich away empty”. In Europe, this seems to be very actual. After years of prosperity, the financial crisis brought an end to a lot of wealth and we will face a very unsure future. Also in Romania, I believe that we all have to go back to our roots, to the genuine Christian faith: the faith in the merciful and forgiving God and Salvation through our Lord Jesus, born in a manger. 

Mary called herself a servant for God, shouldn’t we all call ourselves servants, being real faithful and responsible to our God? Did Jesus Himself did not teach us to Love God and to love the other? Is faith not the only basis that can get us through all our financial and personal crisis? Will this not bring us peace in the parliament, or in society? And is a lack of this faith not corroborated with the fact that the society is based on power and wealth? 

If we do this, God will bless the country. Therefore I would like to read the powerful phrase that I also read last time: from 2 Chronicles 7:14,15 “If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place”

I wish you all a blessed Advent and a joyful Christmas.

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