MIDDLE EAST: Christmas message from Jerusalem Bishop Suheil Dawani

December 2, 2008

Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem Suheil Dawani has issued the following Christmas message for 2008. In Bethlehem, just a few miles from where I write this message, a new life that began 2000 years ago continues to inspire the world to hope, promise, and new beginnings. It was a life of humility and hardship in a land where poverty and injustice were common. Yet Jesus' words and deeds lifted people out of their troubles and showed them the great redeeming power of love, compassion, and justice. Here in the Diocese of Jerusalem in this Christmas Season of 2008, we realize that in some ways not much has changed since Jesus' time; and yet, we still find countless ways to remember His promise. Our parishes are thriving, always undertaking new ministries that provide fresh opportunities for people to walk in the way of Jesus. Our schools not only educate our youth, but also provide them with models for the values of service, reconciliation, and justice. And our healthcare institutions continue, despite many challenges, to welcome and care for all who come to them in need of help. And the greatest Blessing of the Diocese, our people, work hard every day to embody Jesus' words and ministries in their own lives and ministries. We are always aware here in the Diocese that our friends, partners, and brothers and sisters in Christ around the world walk with us in our journeys. And so I send to all of you from a grateful heart my very best wishes this Christmas season for Joy, Peace, and Good Will in all you do.