The Nativity of Jesus Christ

Christ is Born, Glorify Him 2015 (2)

Metropolis 1.1

The Feast of the Nativity according to the flesh of Our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ

Ceasar Augustus, the first Roman Emperor (30 BC-AD 14), having made all the peoples of the known world subject to his sole authority, decided, in the height of his power, to take a census of the vast population of the Empire, and he thereby became the unwitting instrument of the realization of God’s plan.1 For in bringing together and establishing peace and harmony among the many peoples of the immense Empire, with their diverse customs and languages, he prepared them for the revelation of the One God in three Persons, and thus opened the way for the universal proclamation of the Gospel, in accordance with the divine promise…

The Nativity of Our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ

But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son (Galatians 4:4) to save the human race. And when nine months were fulfilled from the Annunciation, when the Archangel Gabriel had appeared to the Most-holy Virgin in Nazareth, saying, Rejoice, thou that art highly favoured … behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a Son (Luke 1:28, 31), at that time there went forth a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the people of the Roman Empire should be taxed. In accordance with this decree, everyone had to go to his own town and be registered…

The Nativity, Reflection by St. Nikolai Velimirovic

The Lord Jesus, born in Bethlehem, was first worshiped by shepherds and wise men (astrologers) from the east – the simplest and the wisest of this world. Even today, those who most sincerely worship the Lord Jesus as God and Savior are the simplest and the wisest of this world. Perverted simplicity and half-learned wisdom were always the enemies of Christ’s divinity and His Gospel. But who were these wise men from the east? This question was especially studied by St. Dimitri of Rostov. He claims that they were kings of certain smaller regions or individual towns in Persia, Arabia and Egypt…

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The Nativity of Jesus Christ, Hymn of Praise

Out of burning love, Thou didst come down from heaven;
From eternal beauty, Thou didst descend into monstrous pain;
From eternal light, Thou didst descend into the thick darkness of evil.
Thou didst extend Thy holy hand to those choked in sin.
Heaven was amazed, the earth quaked.
Welcome, O Christ! O ye peoples, rejoice!

On the Incarnation, by St. Nikitas Stithatos

The Logos of God, having taken flesh and given our nature subsistence in Himself, becoming perfect man, entirely free from sin, has as perfect God refashioned our nature and made it divine. As Logos of the primal Intellect and God, He has united Himself to our intelligence, giving it wings so that it may conceive divine, exalted thoughts. Because He is fire, He has with true divine fire steeled the incensive power of the soul against hostile passions and demons. Aspiration of all intelligent being and slaker of all desire, He has in His deep-seated love dilated the appetitive aspect of the soul so that it can partake of the blessings of eternal life…

On the Incarnation, by St. Gregory Palamas

Christ became a human being like us in all things except sin so that by His likeness to us He might teach us anew and rescue us; and He gave us the saving counsel and commandment of repentance, saying: ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has drawn near’ (Matt. 3:2). Prior to the Incarnation of the Logos of God the kingdom of heaven was as far from us as the sky is from the earth; but when the King of heaven came to dwell amongst us and chose to unite Himself with us, the kingdom of heaven drew near to us all…

Rejoicing in the Nativity 2015.2

The Salvation of the World in Christ

Our redemption by Jesus Christ began with His Incarnation. In assuming human nature, Christ deified it. By uniting the separated natures – Divine and human – in one Person, He overcame the barrier of nature that separated man from God. This was in order for Christ’s true followers to be deified: not by nature and Sonship, as Christ was, but by Grace and adoption. But with Christ’s Incarnation, other barriers between man and God still remained. Because of his spiritual corruption, man was an impure vessel. Because of the barrier of sin, man could not receive and keep the Grace of God within himself…

Preaching of the Prophets | Creation is Renewed

Saint Andrew of Crete comments, “Of thee, O Mary, all interpreters of the Spirit saing.” Nowhere in the divinely inspired Scripture can one look without seeing some allusion to her. “Rejoice, Mediatress of the law and of grace, seal of the Old and New Testaments, clear fulfillment of the whole of prophecy, of the truth of Scriptures inspired by God, the living and most pure book of God and the Logos in which, without voice or writing, the Writer Himself, God and Logos, is everyday read.” Saint Gregory Palamas thought that “all divinely inspired Scripture was written because of the Virgin who brought forth God incarnate.”

Homily on the Birth of the Lord, the Son of God

The only-begotten Son of God, brethren, begotten in eternity of the Father without a mother, was born in time of a mother without a father. That first begetting is an unfathomable mystery of the Holy Trinity in eternity, and the second is the unfathomable mystery of God’s power and love for mankind in time. The greatest mystery in time corresponds to the greatest mystery in eternity. Without entering into this greatest mystery with the small taper of our understanding, let us be content, brethren, with the knowledge that our salvation had its origin not from man or from earth, but from the greatest heights of the divine invisible world…

Nativity Fast 2015 2.1

The Incarnation of the Logos

When the time was ripe, God sent His Son to become man “through the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary.” When was the time ripe? When man had suffered enough through his disobedience and the Fall; when man himself sought salvation; when the ancient wise men had prepared humanity for the Heavenly Redeemer; when the Old Testament had educated man to accept Christ; when there was one empire in all the known world, established by Alexander the Great and his descendants and continued by the Roman Empire; when there was a common language, the Greek language, spoken even in Rome–then the Logos was incarnated…

Apolytikion, Kontakion and Prayer

The Feast of the Nativity of our Lord is celebrated in its kontakion, composed by Saint Romanos the Melodist, through the blessing and aid of the Virgin herself: “Today the Virgin giveth birth to Him Who is transcendent in essence; and the earth offereth a cave to Him Who is unapproachable. Angels with shepherds give glory; with a star, the Magi do journey; for our sakes a young Child is born, Who is pre-eternal God.”

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