Christmas Greetings of Archbishop Dietrich Brauer of The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Russia for Bishop Ivan Laptev:
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. (Is. 9:2, ESV)
“Dear Brother Ivan,
“Beyond all doubt, the expiring year was very extraordinary. The darkness showed us its new sides. They still continue to cause concern and put fear in us.
“At the same time, the forces of light and good have been showing themselves in us in a new way. Those are our sincere prayers for one another, happy spiritual songs, and warming good works. So we can peacefully and confidently sing together with Dietrich Bonhoeffer:
“By loving forces silently surrounded,
I feel quite soothed, secure, and filled with grace.
So I would like to live these days together,
and go with you into another year.
“Thank you for the good forces which you bring to your neighbors and which bring the light of hope to the world! In time and in eternity, our hope is Christ. The light that came into our darkness.
“I wish you joyful Christmas days and a healthy peaceful new year!
“With love in Christ,
Dietrich Brauer, Archbishop of The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Russia”