God is With Us: On the Incarnation

The feast of Christmas proclaims something that is inconceivable to the human mind: God came to dwell among us. He came to be united with the human race, to share their pain, to answer their desire for redemption. All religions may point to people searching for God, but what makes Christianity completely different and unique is that Almighty God became one of us "to deify (theosis) each one of us." Christmas is about this shocking reality.

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Christmas--To an Orthodox Christian

On Christmas Day, "a Child is born to us, a son is given, and the government is upon his shoulders; and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace...He shall sit upon the "throne of David and upon his kingdom, to establish it and to strengthen it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth and forever" (Isaiah 9:6-7).

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The Holy and Divine Nativity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Part II)

"And when the fullness of time was come, God sent His Only-begotten Son" (Gal. 4:4), to save the human race. And when the ninth month had come after the Archangel Gabriel appeared to the Most Holy Virgin in Nazareth, saying: "Hail (Rejoice), thou that art highly favored...thou shalt conceive and bear a son"-- at that time a decree went forth from Caesar Augustus that all the inhabitants of the Roman Empire be taxed. In accordance with this decree, everyone had to go to his own town and there be inscribed. Therefore righteous Joseph came with the Most Holy Virgin to Bethlehem, the city of David, for they were both of the royal House of David. But, there being a great many people in that small city for the census, Joseph and Mary could not find lodging in any house, and found shelter in a cave which the shepherds used as a sheepfold. In this cave the Most Holy Virgin gave birth to the Savior of the world, the Lord Jesus Christ.

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The Holy and Divine Nativity of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

The Feast of the Birth of Christ as a man is the capital of feasts, as Saint John Chrysostom says. All the other feasts of the Lord--Epiphany (Theophany), the Transfiguration, the Passion, the Cross, the Resurrection and the Ascension of Christ--follow from the Nativity. Without the Nativity there would have been no resurrection, but also without the Resurrection the purpose of the Divine Incarnation would not have been fulfilled. All the feasts of the Lord are unified. We separate them in order to celebrate them and to look more closely into their content. In every Divine Liturgy we live through all the events of the Divine Incarnation. Therefore, according to the Holy Fathers, it is always Christmas, always Pascha, always Pentecost.

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The Feastday of Saint Spyridon the Wonderworker and Bishop of Tremithus

Saint Spyridon of Tremithus was born towards the end of the 3rd century on the island of Cyprus. He was a shepherd, and had a wife and children. He used all his substance for the needs of his neighbors and the homeless, for which the Lord rewarded him with a gift of wonderworking. He healed those who were incurable sick, and cast out demons.

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The Conception by Saint Anna of the Holy Theotokos

The righteous Joachim and Anna were childless for 20 years of their married life. In their old age the Archangel Gabriel appeared to each one of them separately, telling them that God had heard their prayers and that they would give birth to a daughter, Mary. Then Saint Anna conceived by the husband and after nine months bore a daughter blessed by God and by all generations of men the Most-Holy Virgin Mary, the Theotokos.

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