Christmas 2009: A Message from ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson

"But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us..." (Titus 3:4-5a).

     Into this shadowed world light shines and joyous voices sing. Glad tidings cheer the heart and liberate hope. "A child has been born for us, a son given to us" (Isaiah 9:6). God our Savior has appeared!

     God's saving goodness and loving kindness have arrived in Jesus, the Word made flesh. Though hidden in the humility of a manger, and later in the scandal of the cross, God's promise is being made good in plain sight for all to see, in a life of generous mercy, richly poured out for all.

     "See, your salvation comes," the prophet wrote (Isaiah 62:11). God's faithfulness to God's promises calls us to a new hope, for the hope of eternal life is an inheritance that we can enjoy today in lives of generosity and compassion, joy and peace.

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