2018 LWF Christmas message: “Do not be afraid”

A nativity scene decorates a wall outside a church in Bogotá, Colombia. Photo: courtesy of Albin Hillert
A nativity scene decorates a wall outside a church in Bogotá, Colombia. Photo: courtesy of Albin Hillert

Archbishop Musa invites Christians to conquer fear of others

(LWI) - The good news of yet another season of celebrating the birth of Jesus should inspire Christians to be more committed to serving humanity even when confronted with fear over dangerous situations. This is the message of The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) during this year’s Christmas.

LWF President Archbishop Dr Panti Filibus Musa says the Lutheran communion’s invitation to cast aside fear draws on the radical admonition: “Do not be afraid,” found in the Gospel of Luke.

“We cannot allow fear to interrupt our peaceful co-existence as human beings, especially in a world where geographical distances no longer separate us,” Musa urges the 148 member churches of the LWF.

Our hospitality towards those we consider strangers because they come from different religions, cultures or places can only be credible if we first dispel our fears.
LWF President Archbishop Dr Panti Filibus Musa

“Our hospitality towards those we consider strangers because they come from different religions, cultures or places can only be credible if we first dispel our fears,’” he adds.

The good news of the birth of Christ should inspire Christians to serve humanity but they must shed their fear of intervening in dangerous situations or confronting structures that inhibit the realization of fullness of life for all, Musa emphasizes.

Referring to his home country, Nigeria, Musa notes that in some regions “communities have polarized along ethnic and religious lines, all because of fear of the other.”

The LWF President concludes: “Let me reiterate the words of the angel: ‘Do not be afraid’.”

The LWF message features a photo from the 2018 LWF Christmas card, depicting a nativity scene on a church wall in Bogotá, Colombia.

 

 

Read the message in English

Read the message in German

Read the message in Spanish

Read the message in French