The Feast of the Lord’s Nativity 2012
“I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you: He is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11)
It is with these words that the Angel spoke to the shepherds who were keeping watch. The Angel spoke these words to comfort them and also to announce that the long awaited Messiah had been born. Scripture tells us that the whole of creation rejoiced when Jesus was born as the separation between God, and His creation had been fixed and, as we sing in the Troparion of the Forefeast, “Eden has been opened for all.”
Jesus Christ, the Son, the Word, the Image of God, was born to restore that Image. He was formed in the womb of the Theotokos and become human so that He may be formed in us. Christ is in us, and we are in Him. We sanctify the world around us by the Spirit that flows from our hearts. This is the true meaning of Christmas, God with us, and we are with God!
Each of us, all of humanity has been created in the image and likeness of God. When we look at another person we have to recognize that image of God in them, we are living Icons of Christ and the love God has for His creation, is the love that we should have for that same creation. No longer can we look upon humanity as merely objects. We need to see Christ in everyone we come into contact with.
He was born into the lowliest of conditions, in a stable in Bethlehem to parents who had nothing but love for each other. He was born poor to remind us to be poor in spirit. His birth was announced, not to kings but to shepherds, those who held the lowest position in society, to teach us the importance of humility. The kings of Asia, the Wise Men, came to worship and bend their knee before Him to teach us that He is the King of the Universe. This little baby was born to show us that His love for us knows no bounds. In return for this expression of endless love, He asks only love in return. He seeks some tiny space in the Inn of our hearts and our souls. Will we welcome Him in, or like the Inn keeps of old, tell Him there is no room?
The rich God emptied Himself and became human like us. The God who created the heavens and the earth, through the outpouring of His Divine love for us, accepted to be born in a lowly manger. The God who holds the world in His hands allowed Himself to be held in the arms of the Holy Virgin. Through the Lord’s Nativity the path to salvation has been set for us, this way is through sacrifice, humility, and compassion toward others just as God Himself has sown mercy on us. Through the Incarnation in this little baby God recreates humanity and bestows upon us the riches that had been lost. Through the Nativity of Christ, God reveals to us the way we can truly be rich in the image of the One who is rich, that is God Himself!
I pray, at this most magnificent feast that each of us will recognize the riches that God has revealed to us. Let us prepare our souls to receive the riches of God and be thankful that He sent His Son to be born that He might save us.
I embrace you in Christ the Lord. May we all celebrate these Holy Days of Christmas and Theophany in the riches of peace and the love of God.
Your brother in prayer to God,