1952 Christmas Message
By St. John Maximovitch
By St. John Maximovitch
"Your Nativity, Christ our God, has shone to the world the light of knowledge."
“Where is the King of the Jews to be born? For we have seen His star in the east, and we have come to worship Him” (Matt. 2:2) – the magi who came to Jerusalem once asked. And the shepherds, grazing their flocks near Bethlehem, learned about the birth of Christ, for the glory of the Lord shone around them and the angels announced to them about this. A great mystery is now proclaimed to people: what is with them - the Son of God.
He who created man in His own image and likeness has now become a man Himself and dwelled among men. He came to earth to take man to heaven.
The Lord came to save everyone and call everyone to Himself.
But He appears to people in a way that is accessible to them.
He did not appear on earth in the radiance of the Divine, since sinful human eyes could not bear the rays of the Sun of Truth.
He did not come in the glory of His might, lest He frighten man who sinned against Him. He hid His divine light under human flesh and hid His majesty in the face of a weak and poor Infant. He wants them to come to Him not by force, not with fear and dread, and not looking for earthly treasures from Him. He calls on those who seek the truth, who are humble and want to purify their hearts.
He makes Himself known to those who accept Him with faith and love, who are ready to submit their minds to revelation from above, and their will to the will of God. To the sages who studied the stars and through them wanted to know the Creator of the world, He announces with a star the coming of the Sun of Truth to earth. To simple and unwise shepherds, pure in heart, the hosts of heaven appeared and sang the glory of the newborn Savior of the world.
The shepherds hurried to Bethlehem, and having come to the Infant lying in the manger, in outward misery they recognized the King of kings. They praised their Creator, glorified God, praised by angels in heaven, and on earth accessible to every person.
Magi from the east rushed to the newborn King in Judea, leaving their countries and all their worldly cares. Brought by a star to the Infant, they sensed in Him to be the eternal God. Falling down, they worshiped Him, brought Him gifts from their earthly treasures, and burned the delusions of their minds with the fire of faith that illumined their hearts.
The depth of the riches and wisdom and mind of God was revealed before them.
"He Who reigns in heaven on high" out of mercy came to the man He had created.
Sitting in glory on the throne of the Godhead for ever and ever, holding the scepter of righteousness, the scepter of His kingdom, for our sake He humbled Himself to the point of being a slave.
From time immemorial, the eternal Word and Son of God, through whom everything that exists received being, became flesh. God, whom the angels cannot look upon, appeared in the flesh, appeared to the angels and settled among people. Greatly rejoice, O heavens! Dance for joy, O mountains!
Christ is born, the powers of heaven rejoice, and the earth rejoices with man. The heavenly powers of the Lord and Master proclaim to the world the birth of the Savior.
Today, every creature rejoices and and is glad, as Christ was born of the Virgin Maiden! Come, Christ-bearing people, let us see a miracle that terrifies every mind, we see the descent of the Divine and, having cleansed our minds, let us bring forth virtues - instead of gold, frankincense and myrrh!
He appeared in the world, and the world knew Him not, that He may enlighten those who are in darkness. Thou hast appeared as a sinner and publican for the multitude of Thy mercy, O our Savior, Lover of mankind, glory to Thee! Come all, let us rejoice in the Lord!
The starry sky is still shining above us.
Let us open our spiritual eyes and see that the heavens will reveal the glory of God.
Let us open the ears of our hearts and hear the voice of an angel calling us to worship the Newborn.
All kinds of joys are fulfilled today: who for our sake, a Young Child was born, the eternal God! Christ is born!
Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.