Kairos Palestine Christmas Alert 2023 - Christmas Day

Foto: Maria Wålsten


Christmas Day 

A Greeting from Patriarch Michel Sabbah

“I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared

by the whole people” (Lk 2: 10).

Christ is born, the Word of God became a human being and lived with us.

Let us rejoice.

Happy and Holy Christmas to all. In this year of war in Gaza, and in the hearts of so many everywhere, our Christmas wishes are peace and justice—in Gaza, in all Palestine, Israel, and the world. The good news of the Angels, amidst the death today, is this: Peace, Justice.

In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things came into being, not one thing came into being except through him. What has come into being in him was life, life that was the light of men” (John 1:1-4).

This is the deep mystery of Christmas. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God… and the Word became a human being, like us.

In the beginning was the Word. In the depths of time, in the eternity of God, we meditate upon the mystery of Christmas, the mystery of God that surpasses understanding. In this eternal light, we also look to the mystery of death in our Holy Land. Thousands of houses in rubbles. The human being in rubbles. Death from Gaza reaches and fills the hearts of all of Palestine. We stand torn before the sublime mystery of God, and before the mystery of death in contrast to it, in Gaza, Palestine and Israel.

In the beginning was the Word. God created men and women good, in his image and likeness. We stand today in Bethlehem, on Christmas day, silent. God is love, yet humanity, created by God in his image, became a killer of his brothers and sisters in Gaza and elsewhere. This is the mystery on which we meditate this Christmas. The two realities intertwined: God Almighty, his infinite love, source of justice and peace; and humankind, the work of his hand, hates and kills. They carry weapons of death and destruction and annihilate what God has created. Palestinian or Israeli, God created them, loves them. Both equally human beings, equally loved by God, equally children of the same Father who is in heaven. In Gaza, it does not seem so.

In the depth of Christmas joy, we see life and death, sorrow and pain. We hear the angel’s message—Joy for the whole people—yet we look to death in Gaza, and in human hearts. The human being is destroyed in both the Israeli and the Palestinian. One is oppressed, one is oppressor. Both are human beings, and yet both are destroyed.

On Christmas this year, we pray, we praise God, we thank God for his infinite love, because he sent us His Son, His eternal Word, to become a human being born in our land. His birth is a joy for the whole people, for all of humanity. But in Gaza, the humans, broken, are crying and unable to rejoice. We pray and prostrate before the mystery of the love of God, and we ask for mercy for those who die, for all on both sides. We ask mercy for the Palestinian who dies, who is killed, only because he is in his land and his home. This is the only reason for all the tragedies of the Palestinian people. They are in their land, but Israel tells them, “Go away, and you will find peace.” But why should they leave their homes? What people has the right to come to another people and say to them: Leave your land and your home, to find your life and security?  The international community has known for a long time what is due to the Palestinians and what is due to the Israelis, but it has remained always silent and inactive. Today, too, before the genocide of Gaza, it remains inactive.

However, our message on this Christmas—from the midst of the ruins, the sorrows, and our confusion before the mystery of humankind that kills and the mystery of God who came to reconcile humanity with God: Pray and seek truth in this holy land. Your word of truth, you all who love this Holy Land, will liberate us and remove death from our land. Our message is a message of hope, firmly established in our faith in God. We, members of Kairos Palestine, wait always for the moment of God’s appearance in our land. He will come, he will give us peace and justice. Christmas itself is a Kairos. It is a time when the Word of God visits us to wipe away death and every form of oppression. We mourn with the people of Gaza. We try to announce to them the new joy of Christmas. We tell them, Light a trembling candle amidst your ruins. God will come. The love and justice of God will prevail over the evil of humankind.

”The Word became flesh, he lived among us, and we saw his glory, the glory that he has from the Father as only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

+ Patriarch Emeritus Michel Sabbah served as the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem from 1988-2008. He served the parish and the Palestinian nation locally and internationally. He is the president of the Palestinian Christian Initiative, Kairos Palestine, and one of the authors of the Kairos Palestine document, “A Moment of Truth.”. He currently works in the field of interfaith dialogue and believes in pluralism, equality and preserving human dignity.


We praise your name, God. You are holy, holy, holy, the Alpha and the Omega. Today, may we find our hope affirmed and our strength renewed in the celebration of the birth of Jesus through whom you have made your home among us mortals. Amen.


Prepare a Palestinian feast to celebrate the birth of Jesus with your Christian siblings in Palestine. Invite friends to share; then pray together for the end of hostilities in Palestine/Israel and for a way forward to a just and lasting peace.


Bli medlem idag

Bli medlem i Kairos Palestine Sweden