Posted on Sun, Dec 1, 2013
A Christmas Greeting from the Council of Bishops
The African Methodist Episcopal Church
"Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means, "God is with us." (Matthew 1:23 – RSV)
God is with us! We can be saved; we can be healed; we can overcome obstacles and be liberated from oppression; we can forgive; we can be forgiven; we can minister: we can be confident! God is with us! So, let us pray:
Gracious God, we thank you for Jesus! We thank you for the love He represents and the hope that is ours as you dwell with us. Helps us to focus on your love and the life to which you call us in this holy season. Bless us, we pray!
Bless our AME Family with holy, spirit filled worship during this celebration of the birth of our Savior. Bless us to be true witnesses and faithful disciples. Grant us opportunities to call others to discipleship. Make us good stewards of the spiritual harvest as you strengthen us to disciple Christ’s lambs.
Bless the leaders of our Church with holy insight and wisdom as we guide the people of God and bow before the mysteries of incarnation and eternity. Give unity and patience to the bishops, clergy and lay leaders and those who labor for Christ under the banner of African Methodism.
Bless the nations of the world and especially, those where we make our witness. Bless the leaders of those countries to seek peace and goodwill for their citizens and in the world community. We pray for continued comfort as we celebrate the life of the Honorable Nelson Mandela, and we ask for strength to answer the ongoing calls for justice after his courageous example.
Bless our neighbors with the glory of this season! May we be a blessing of light and hope for those with whom we live day by day. Bless the ministry of hospitality and generosity.
Bless us to keep our moral compass calibrated and in view for our daily walk. Bless our family. Be with all who call your name. Help us to forsake unrighteousness, defeat disease, set captives free, promote peace and join in Holy Praise of The Anointed who was born to be Emmanuel.
The Council of Bishops wishes you a Holy and Merry Christmas and a prosperous, productive New Year!
+Jeffrey N. Leath
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