During the second week of Advent, staff members of the World Council of Churches and other organizations at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva gathered with their families for the prayer service and celebration of the upcoming Christmas.
“The Christmas message is for everybody and about everybody”, said Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the World Council of Churches, welcoming all gathered in the Ecumenical Centre Chapel. “The light and life of the world that we celebrate at Christmas are even more needed in a world threatened by our human actions and by lack of care for this earth, our common home. “
Christmas hymns from many traditions and regions of the world were led by Rev. Dr. Mikie A. Roberts, WCC Programme Executive Spiritual Life with Dr. Marilyn Brattskar coordinating the music. Special guests included the Geneva Gospel Choir.
This year’s Advent service followed the events in the Holy Family described in the gospels from Joseph’s perspective, which involved not only surprise and joy, but also doubt and despair.
According to the gospel of Matthew, just when Joseph had resolved to dismiss Mary quietly, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”