Great anticipation is building as we come closer to Christmas Day.
The old remember the happy times in their youth when families gathered
to celebrate, and the young ones have hopes for the presents and
blessings that will be exchanged. This is the one time of the year
that many give gifts of charity to those who are financially disadvantaged,
remembering God's manifold blessings. Others surrender their burdens
and sorrows for the joy that comes with the knowledge that "a
Child is born" to the world, a Child Who brings light, solace
and peace into the farthest corners of the earth.In this time of
the year, as we rush from store to store searching for the perfect
gift for our love ones, let us remember that this is the season
when the Church hymns out tidings of great joy announcing that Christ
"Christ is born; glorify Him!
Christ comes from heaven; go to meet Him!
Christ is on earth; be exalted!
Sing to the Lord, all the earth!
And praise Him in gladness, O people, for He has been glorified!"
This hymn describes how Orthodox Christians joyfully give thanks
to the gift of Christ's miraculous Incarnation. The hymn calls us
to act in a very conscious and decisive manner. As Christians we
live our Faith and witness it to the world through our gladness
and joy; like the single light burning brightly in the darkness.This
time of the year is also a time of humility, which today's society
has forgotten with the commercialisation of this Christ-mass day.
The Theotokos responded in humility when she consented to bear the
Christ-child. Christ chose a humble cave in which to be born and
become Man. The shepherds bowed in reverence and humility to the
newborn King. The three wise kings travelled vast distances to pay
homage to a baby in a cave used to shelter farm animals. O, what
great and moving images these thoughts build! We, like the foreign
kings and pure hearted Theotokos, must respond to our Christian
Faith in simple humility at all times, and especially now during
the Advent Season. Christ's birthplace also reminds us that He depends
upon each of us to welcome Him in our very homes, and to make Him
part of our lives and families.Rejoice over the message of humility,
life, love, and the hope that Christ's life offers us. Do not let
your hearts be cold and stomachs sated with the lifeless material
things gathered and food eaten. Lets celebrate the joy of the Nativity
and extend our love to one another praying that the newborn Child
blesses each of us.May the peace, love and joy of our Lord's birth
shine brightly in your hearts throughout the coming year.from The
Truth, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia
Christian Missionary Society of the Ascension of our
Lord publication, Perth, Western Australia.
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia