Christ-mass Greetings 2013
Nativity of Our Lord, God and Savior, Jesus Christ
December 25, 2013 AD
Luke II: 1-10 – And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. (KJV – Gospel from the Vigil Vespers and Divine Liturgy of St. Basil)
Christ is Born! Glorify Him! – How shall we approach this great mystery, our Saviour born in time, a Virgin giving birth, God born as man? We might ask a thousand questions, searching for details and explanations and clarifications. It is a reasonable question after all; “How can this be?”
Recall a child’s wonder in this season of giving. He might inquire how Santa knew that he really needed a bicycle, and however did he manage to carry it in a sleigh? But a child knows that love made it possible.
As children of a heavenly Father, all our answers come with a simple reply. “It is by the power of the Holy Spirit.” What do you wish to know about the Christmas feast? What question will you ask your angel? The answer is found in accepting that this feast is a celebration of the power of the Holy Spirit, who has accomplished such a wonderful miracle. The Spirit of Love, the Lord of Life, the Spirit of Power has overshadowed our world, and the Virgin conceived, the cave is illumined, and a world transformed. The questions may be many, but the answer is One. “It is by the power of the Holy Spirit!” A profound confidence in the Spirit of God will calm our restless mind, our searching reason, our yearning soul. Glory be to the life-giving Spirit, our answer and our hope.
- Vespers and Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great – Genesis 1:1-13, Numbers 24:2,3;5-9,17,18, Micah 4:6,7;5:2-4, Isaiah 11:1-10, Baruch 3:36-4:4, Daniel 2:31-36,44,45, Isaiah 9:6,7, Isaiah 7:10-16; 8:1-4, 8-10, Hebrews 1:1-12, Luke 2:1-20
- Matins – Matthew 1:18-25
- Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom – Galatians 4:4-7, Matthew 2:1-12
The icon is a detail of the Nativity.
Please forgive any transgressions or offenses this past year, whether intentional or unintentional!
Vesel Božič! Merry Christ-Mass!
Christos Raždajetsja! – Slavite Jeho! Christ is Born! – Glorify Him!
Enjoy the traditional Christmas Performances in several Languages:
- In Slovenija: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKktVAK90ls
- in Transcarpathia: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3Ryu5-liT4
- in Slovakia: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtQ6lJNWnO4