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The light that leads to justice and peace

· Message for Christmas from the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches ·

“Christ's light is the lamp for our feet that shows us the way toward justice and peace”. These are the words of hope that are contained in the traditional message for Christmas which Olav Fykse Tveit, General Secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), addressed to the more than 300 member communities of the ecumenical organization. The message draws inspiration from the Bible in order to reaffirm the commitment of Christians to combating violence and the forms of injustice that affect the world. In fact this will be the main theme that will serve as a background to the Tenth General Assembly of the WCC that will be held from 30 to 8 November 2013 in Busan, South Korea.

The idea for the text comes from two passages in particular: from the Book of Isaiah : “A bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice” (42:3); and from the Gospel according to St John: “In him was life and , and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (1:4-5).

Tveit recalls that “ In Holy Scripture, we find many depictions of light as an image of God’s glory and guidance. Later artists have employed light in their portrayals of the Nativity of Jesus Christ”. “In the Seasons of Advent, of Christmas and of the Epiphany”, he added, “we are particularly aware of God’s gift of light revealed in the eternal Word.... This is the light that gives us hope for this present world in spite of disunity, abuse, hatred, violence, poverty, greed and corruption”.

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