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Christmas 2018

A Christmas greeting from the World Council of Churches

06 December 2018

Allison Guadalupe, born on the migrant caravan, 31 October 2018

in Juchitán, Oaxaca, Mexico. Courtesy of Whitney Godoy

A greeting from the World Council of Churches


Also available in German, French and Spanish.


Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee…
—Matthew 2:13


As Christmas approaches, we marvel at the singular act by which God has graced and elevated our human condition.

This happened through God’s sharing the vulnerability of human life in this world. This precious child was vulnerable in every way. He was born of a poor family caught in treacherous circumstances in a dangerous world. A heartless empire loomed around him, while a jealous king sought his life, prompting his family to flee with him into exile, a refugee family, living in fear. His life was secured by those who had few resources but great love and attentiveness to God’s call to take care of him.

As we approach Bethlehem and the lands around it today, we see many refugees and refugee camps. They are received and helped in many ways, but so many suffer. We also find intimidating walls. The region of Jesus’ birth crackles with daily confrontation and violence, and refugees still await safe and secure settlement. And around the globe, poverty and violence have driven some 60 million people from their homes in a rootless, desperate search for safety, dignity, and well-being. In refugee camps and detention centres, on unfamiliar roads or roiling seas. They risk their lives in hopes of saving them, yet often they are met with suspicion, hostility, or even racism or exploitation. They face forms of populism that are caring for some, not for all people.

How can their human dignity and worth—so wondrously sealed in the birth of Jesus —be upheld and assured?

With the Incarnation we know there are no strangers to God. The glad tidings of God’s becoming human have lifted the human prospect, forging us into one humanity, beloved of God and bound in solidarity to work for justice and peace, to protect the vulnerable, to heal the wounded, and to offer protection for the refugee.

May the wonder and joy of the Christmas message inspire hope in our hearts, love in our deeds, and a heedless solidarity with all humanity!

Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit
General Secretary
World Council of Churches

Download: WCC Christmas Card (pdf 6.3 MB)