Christmas Message of the General Convent

Circular to congregations of the Hungarian Reformed Church and beyond

“Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations.” (Luke 2,28-31)

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

Amidst the tribulations of our world, Simeon's prayer is a safe refuge. When Joseph and Mary go up to Jerusalem to give thanks to God for the birth of Jesus, they meet a devout man in the temple, Simeon, who in his person connects Old and New Testaments, the story of God's eternal approach to us. Simeon takes the baby in his arms, behold, the old is carrying the new. And his song of praise is also a song of thanksgiving, for in Christ the new covenant between God and man is fulfilled, the old receives blessings from the new.

Simeon Jézust tartja a kezében - Andrej Siskin orosz festő műve

Simeon holding Jesus, by Andrey Shishkin

We want to rejoice, but we are tormented as our broken human relationships take their toll on the Christmas celebrations. But God is never far from us. His faithfulness and mercy strengthen our faith and direct our hope to his eternal love.

In Simeon's prayer, true faith shines forth, for he had waited long decades holding on to the certain truth of the fulfilment of God's promise, while trusting with all his heart that God would grant forgiveness of sins, eternal righteousness and salvation, not only to others but to himself, by his free grace, for Christ’s merit alone. We pray to God that the Holy Spirit will creates this faith in us through the gospel!

We believe that God will fill our Christmas this year with the holy power of the salvation that has been given to us. The day of Jesus' birth reveals that God will not give up on us and will always be faithful to his promises.

In the midst of and despite false news and fearmongering, the eternal good news of the gospel encourages also our generation. God reveals “in the sight of all nations” that healing, salvation and fullness of life are with Him. God is life; to live without Him is to live not at all. But, behold, in the child hides the long-awaited comfort, light and resurrection.

So let us pray together with one heart and one soul that God pours out this great blessing, and wish all the congregations of the Hungarian Reformed Church in the Carpathian Basin and our fellow Reformed sisters and brothers scattered throughout the world that on this feast our joy may be full in Christ, who was born for us, who is the future, and that we may follow him together.

On behalf of the Presidium of the General Convent of the Hungarian Reformed Churches Bishops and Lay Presidents of all Hungarian speaking Church Districts in and around Hungary, in the Carpathian Basin.