From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Moderator Issues Christmas Message

Date 04 May 1996 20:36:46


95450           Moderator Issues Christmas Message 
                      by Jerry L. Van Marter 
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--Marj Carpenter, the moderator of the 207th General 
Assembly (1995), has released the following Christmas message: 
"Silent night, holy night..." 
    It never seems to be silent.  Right when we were rejoicing over 
    changes in Malawi and South Africa, things worsened in Rwanda, 
    Guatemala, Zaire and Jerusalem. 
"All is calm, all is bright..." 
    Nothing seems calm.  The church is anticipating an uneasy General 
    Assembly.  But the church is showing a renewed enthusiasm about 
    mission, both in this country and abroad.  And that's a bright spot. 
"Round yon Virgin, mother and child..." 
    Help us to remember to concentrate on what Christmas is really all 
    about, not the frenzy of activities, but the love that is needed 
"Holy infant, so tender and mild..." 
    Oh yes, the Christ child was born -- every year we get to greet that 
    wonderful beginning of hope again. 
"Sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace." 
And "Hark the herald angels sing: Glory to the newborn king..." 
    There is a renewed interest in angels nowadays but everybody seems to 
    want to pull out a guardian angel to protect themselves.  They forget 
    about the angels singing about the newborn king. Selfishness is rampant 
    both as individuals and as a country.  It's frightening. 
"Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled..." 
     Nobody even seems to want to admit they are a sinner.  And we all are. 
"Joyful all ye nations rise, join the triumph of the skies..." 
    Wouldn't it be wonderful if nations would rise in something besides 
    anger and war? 
"With the angelic host proclaim:  Christ is born in Bethlehem!' Hark the 
herald angels sing, Glory to the newborn king." 
    Somehow this time of year, I always feel again that everything is 
    going to be all right. 
    As your moderator, in getting about the church -- and getting about as 
    I have done -- I feel a strong certainty that everything is going to be 
    all right. 
    The church is alive and well in the world, and I'm tired of hearing 
    anything else. 
    God bless you every one, and Merry Christmas, Happy New Year. 
    Think mission and love the Lord. 

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