For all of us, Christmas brings hope and a message that unites us. “Do not be afraid” – not because things will magically turn out well, but because our God is with us. Jesus entered into our human situation, and experienced our uncertainty, fear, and despair. Jesus entered our human situation and conquered it beyond the grave, giving us a hope that unites us even as we stand united in suffering.read more
On the night when Christ was born, a group of shepherds watched over their flocks in the fields near Bethlehem. Scripture tells us that, suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared. In the midst of his radiant glory, the shepherds were terrified. With words of reassurance, the angel brought good news of great joy: the Savior – the Messiah, the Lord – had been born in Bethlehem!
This unlikely audience for such a heavenly announcement then saw the skies filled with angels, each one praising God, saying:
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
This Advent season, we turn our eyes toward Bethlehem and sing familiar hymns of Christmas praise – even as we face continued uncertainty, frustration, and need in the ongoing pandemic. In some places, believers have returned for in-person worship. Other places remain locked down. In still other regions, where the Church faces persecution, Christians gather under great risk. Despite our differing circumstances, the worldwide Body of Christ joins in heart and spirit to celebrate the Incarnation of Emmanuel, our God who is with us.
This year, we have again invited several leaders from around the world to offer a meditation on Scripture and to share about their own local celebratory customs. We hope that these Christmas devotionals and stories will encourage you as we celebrate the Lord’s first coming and anticipate his next.
Photo: “The Holy Family” by Rawan Anani (2020)
Credit: The Art of Occupied Palestine
I felt bad about my sufficiency and contentment, as I thought of those who were suffering from hunger and losses caused by the floods and landslides in Vietnam’s central regions. My heart was heavy as I pondered, “Is it all right to celebrate amid these discouraging circumstances?”read more
Jesus was no ordinary baby, but the long-promised King, who had come for the salvation of the world. The first visitors – the shepherds – were men from the margins of society. Angels called them to see what God was doing for Israel and the whole world. A Savior had arrived humbly, dwelling among the poor and lowly of the earth.read more
It is in these uncertain and troubled times that churches need to rise above and beyond, and find means to care for believers, so that they can be sustained in their faith in Jesus Christ, instead of seeking other means of help from the wrong places, such as from witchdoctors or dead ancestors.read more
We would love to see a DRC where human dignity is celebrated, where integrity rules, and where Christ is Lord in every action and life.read more
In Ituri, there are more than ten armed groups that kill, loot, and rape the population regularly. The city of Bunia, where we live, is not spared from their cruelties.read more
Presidential elections will be held at the end of the month. Please pray with us for peace before, during, and after the elections. Pray for all the political actors in the country, that the Lord may soften their hearts and guide their actions.read more
There have been demonstrations again and again, both in Western and Eastern Congo, for many reasons, including the failure to pay government employees’ salaries, the corruption of some leaders, and especially the massacres in eastern Congo (where I live) by the ADF-NALU militia.read more