From the Pastor

Dearly Beloved in the Lord,

May this Christmas be one of our renewing our faith, of reflecting on the meaning of the Birth of our Lord Jesus Christ in Bethlehem, and rededicate ourselves to the Holy Orthodox Faith.

One of the hymns we hear defines for us what took place for the salvation of all of humanity.

Today the Virgin gives birth to him who is above all being, and the Earth offers a cave to him whom no one can approach.
Angels with shepherds give glory and Magi journey with a star, for to us there has been born
a little Child, God before the ages.

Bethlehem has opened Eden; come, let us see.
We have found secret delight; come, let us receive the joys of Paradise within the cave.

 

The hymnographer captured in a few lines the whole theology of the Incarnation of our Lord. The Christmas Icon of Jesus in a manger, surrounded by animals, the Theotokos, Joseph, the Wise Men, the Shepherds, the Star, is a fulfillment of the prophetic lines of Isaiah who describes the salvation of mankind coming from a Savior, born of a virgin and shedding His blood to atone for our sins.

The Savior of the world, was born amidst all of creation, humans, animals, greenery, in order to offer us the opportunity to have a loving and caring relationship with God who loves us and cares for all.

The warmth of the animals, the appearance of our Savior with such humility indicates clearly our Lord arrived as a human with the message that God is not a punisher, but a compassionate creator. In His humility, compassion and love, He desired to integrate these virtues in all of us. The message of repentance on our part and forgiveness from God, re-creates us in His image as He intended us to be.

All of the elements of creation including heaven and earth testify to this Child born in Bethlehem as God Himself, taking on human form to make our salvation a decision we make and not something imposed or insisted upon from outside of ourselves.

We are invited to return to Eden and there see and experience our immediate relationship with God, as it was in the beginning. Entering into the cave we enter into the joy of witnessing the activity of God to restore in each one of us, our joy and delight of finding a Savior who is Christ the Lord.

In another hymn we hear the following: The heavens offer a star; the angels their song; the earth, a mountain; the mountain, a cave; the wilderness its grass for the manger; the cattle their warming breath; and humanity Mary’s womb.

Thus, for Christmas to be a reality, all of us, nature included must participate. We all need to join in making Christmas a reality in our world, for we are in partnership with God and with each other to bring the message of salvation, joy, and delight to the world.

Merry Christmas and may we find the true message of the day and spread it to family and friends.

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

%d bloggers like this: