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Kireopoulos: A Christmas reflection
on the Newtown school tragedy

Reflection carried in Huffington Post

New York, December 20, 2012 -- A blog by a National Council of Churches executive commenting on the tragedy of the Newtown, Conn. shootings during the holiday season has been published in the Huffington Post.


Dr. Antonios Kireopoulos, NCC associate general secretary for Interfaith Relations and Faith & Order, wrote, "Over the centuries, a certain lightheartedness has come to characterize the celebration of Christmas.  Of course, there is joy to be associated with the Christian commemoration of the belief that God became a human being in order to save the world.  But there is a difference between joy and frivolity.  It would seem that, this year, we are being made to understand the difference."

It is in the awful circumstances of the Newtown tragedy "
that we can find the true joy of Christmas, " Kireopoulos wrote.


"In the scriptures, we read that Jesus was called '"Emmanuel," which means "God with us"' (Matthew 1:23).  The message here is that God is with us, as a human being, precisely in the difficult, terrible, and even horrific circumstances of life.  The message of Christmas is that, in the face of such things, God does not offer an escape, but that God offers salvation through extreme compassion, by living alongside us in all our vulnerability, dying with us, and giving us new life through the resurrection."


The Huffington Post link is here.  


The essay can also be read here.

Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA has been the leading force for shared ecumenical witness among Christians in the United States. The NCC's 37 member communions -- from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches -- include 40 million persons in more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the nation.

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