In a Christmas message released Dec. 19, LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison offers a greeting expressing joyful hope for the future and thanks for LCMS pastors, teachers, members and benefactors:
“Martin Luther preached many Christmas sermons. He liked to emphasize that in the Christmas Gospel texts, we hear of Christ being born for and unto us! ‘His name shall be Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins.’ Then Luther would preach that because we have a Savior we learn from the lowly, kind and loving way our God comes to us in a manger to save us, how we are to act toward others in our family, our church and our community.
“We are all sinners — ‘real hardboiled sinners,’ as Luther described himself. But we have a Savior. And how we need Him in these ‘gray and latter days’ of challenges aplenty! I assure you that the words of the angel to the shepherds at the very first Christmas hold good today, exactly for you, no matter what you face at this very moment.
“’Don’t be afraid.’ Together and individually The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod faces many challenges. But we are blessed richly, nonetheless. Pastors, thank you for your tireless work proclaiming the Gospel and seeking out the sheep. Teachers and church workers, thanks for your exemplary love and service to the ‘little ones’ and all the others among us. Folks of the LCMS, thanks for your generous and record giving! Thanks for loving your pastors and church workers! Thanks for praying for them, and even praying for your Synod! And thanks especially for sharing the Christmas Gospel throughout the year with those around you. You are an inspiration to us! Our Synod has had a great year of blessings from above, and we thank our God for you.”