In her Christmas message, the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), said "The hope of Christmas was fulfilled on Good Friday. The cross is part of Christmas."
Eaton underscored the stress many feel during the Christmas season "to get everything perfect by the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve. We are filled with wistful longing. But what are we longing for?" asked Eaton.
"We long for peace, love and a place to belong. We want to know that someone cares. We want the assurance that all of this means something. And, we try to bring that all about in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
"The hope of Christmas was fulfilled on Good Friday. The cross is part of Christmas," said Eaton. "The cross is the Christmas gift, where all of our Christmas glorias are realized in Jesus' glorification on the cross."
About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with more than 3.8 million members in nearly 10,000 congregations across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of "God's work. Our hands," the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA's roots are in the writings of the German church reformer, Martin Luther.