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Bishop Anthony's Pastoral Letter for Nativity, 2017

Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ 2017

Dear beloved Clergy and Faithful of our Midwest Diocese,

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!
ُ المسیح ُ وِلد!َ فمجدوه!

Home, family, friends, decorations that adorn both hearth and hearts, the texture, feel and color of love that, somehow, is renewed in us this time of year, is our greatest blessing. Christmas is composed of the rhythm, rhymes, and hymns that carry more of a presence than a present.

Jesus Christ comes into the world prepared for Him through the prayers of many generations of faithful people. His birth in a wilderness cave begins our rebirth in the wilderness of a world that has failed to find happiness, peace on earth, and goodwill toward men and women.

It is a world made marvelously better by His birth. This Child will be the One to teach us! God made us and loves us, all of us: children, teenagers and students, mothers and fathers, the elderly and sickly, saints and sinners, people who are privileged, powerful, productive and prestigious, and most of all, those who are not, people who live all their lives on the fringe, in the margins and shadows of society enamored with flickering lights of momentary popularity.

In His love, the blind see again; the greedy give again; the guilty hope again; and the dead live again. He is Joy to the world.

Thank you beloved clergy and faithful loved ones in all our parish families. It has been my blessing to be with you this year. I thank God for the gift of all of you!

Yours in Christ,

+Bishop ANTHONY

Bishop of Toledo
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America

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