December 14, 2020

A Prelude to Christmas


Prepare the cave, for the Virgin Mary comes, bearing Christ.

Tidy up the manger, to receive the Divine Infant.

Prepare the animals, to warm up the space.

Invite the shepherds, to be ready, so they may hear the angelic doxology.

Behold the star, coming from the east, leading with its light the three magi.

Heaven is getting ready!

Everything around is ready to welcome the King of Glory.

When everything is ready, what will people do?

Are they preparing? Are they waiting with faith for their Savior? Are their thoughts on Him? Have the prevailing circumstances robbed them of their thoughts and prevented them from thinking and preparing for His coming? Is this the reason they do not have pure thoughts and live in despair?

This year, due to the difficulty we all are experiencing, with the pandemic that afflicts the entire planet, we are called to celebrate Christmas in an incomparable, special way.

This year we are given a unique opportunity to understand the true meaning of Christmas. To feel that Christmas is the coming of Christ in our hearts, and not, as it has prevailed, a celebration of exchanging gifts, a period of folklore and revelry.

Christmas is the spiritual rebirth of humanity. It is an opportunity to restart our life.

People, look up to see the Star, for Whom it comes! Look at the Cave, for Whom it has been prepared! Look at the Manger, Who it welcomes! Look at the irrational animals that are waiting for Him!

The Savior and Redeemer is coming.

Open the eyes of your soul to see Him. Open your heart to receive Him.

The Nativity of Christ brings spring, hope and light into our lives. Nothing can make us despair!

Let us exclaim from our hearts: "Christ is born, glorify Him." Immediately the smile on everyone's face will shine again.

The Nativity of Christ is our joy and salvation.

A few days are left until the big day. Let us be filled with anticipation, optimism and hope!

Merry Christmas!

+ Archimandrite Bartholomew
Abbot of the Sacred Monastery of Esphigmenou
 Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.