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Christmas Message, December 2005

…the father and mother [of the baby Jesus] were amazed at what was being said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, "This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too."

Luke 2:33-35

Bishop Ray in Manger Square, Bethlehem





Raymond L. Schultz, National Bishop

Mary told the angel that she was willing to consent to God's plan for her to bear a son, but little did she know what that would mean!

It wasn't until she and Joseph met Simeon that they began to glimpse the destiny of this child.

He would never be a child of comfort for them, nor for himself.He was the one who was destined to allow only the God of Israel to be his God.

And what he revealed of the God of Israel brought joy to the humble, poor and needy, but rage to the powerful and privileged.

He could have been a famous, happy, Galilean, but he chose, instead to go the way of the cross. Why? Because that was how Jesus was In Mission for Others.

My vision for this church is that we can receive Jesus as Mary did and allow him to lead us into mission for others. It is a vision I share with members across this church. I hope you share it too.

I invite you to view my video Christmas greeting (.ram file), recorded in Manger Square in Bethlehem.

A blessed Christmas to you all!

+ Raymond L. Schultz, National Bishop

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Free RealPlayer Basic is required to read .ram files. If you do not already have this program, you can obtain it from RealPlayer at http://www.real.com/

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