What birthday gift would we ourselves most wish for?
Is there a gift that surpasses the abundant blessings already bestowed by the Holy Child born in Bethlehem… Who loosed the bonds of our sins with His swaddling bands?
Like the wise men, who followed the Star, what shall we bring to Him? What is more precious to Christ, than gold, frankincense or myrrh?
But how does one gift wrap sincere intention?
By bowing the knees and neck of our heart. By kneeling before His manger with determined resolve, to share loving kindness with each other and our neighbour… By doing our own small part with good will… for the sake of peace on earth… Even when external circumstances aren’t easy or peaceful.
Today, we receive, a gift we did not ask for, let us bestow alms to those who cry out to us in need! ~ St. Ephraim the Syrian
I have been amazed that some are utterly in doubt as to whether or not the Holy Virgin is able to be called the Mother of God. For if our Lord Jesus Christ is God, how should the Holy Virgin who bore him not be the Mother of God? ~ St. Cyril of Alexandria
And since the holy Virgin hath borne after the Flesh God united personally to the Flesh, therefore we do say that she is also Mother of God, not as though the Nature of the Word had the beginning of Its existence from flesh, for It was in the beginning and the Word was God, and the Word was with God (John 1:1), and is Himself the Maker of the ages, Co-eternal with the Father and Creator of all things. ~ St. Cyril of Alexandria
The Most Holy Mother of God prays for us ceaselessly. She is always visiting us. Whenever we turn to her in our heart, she is there. After the Lord, she is the greatest protection for mankind. How many churches there are in the world that are dedicated to the Most Holy Mother of God! How many healing springs where people are cured of their ailments have sprung up in places where the Most Holy Theotokos appeared and blessed those springs to heal both the sick and the healthy! She is constantly, by our side, and all too often we forget her. ~ Elder Thaddeus
Christ is Risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing Life! ~Paschal Tropar
What is dying? Just what it is to put off a garment. For the body is about the soul as a garment; and after laying this aside for a short time by means of death, we shall resume it again with more splendour. ~ St. John Chrysostom
The Nativity Icon deliberately connects events… the manger resembles a stone coffin, the swaddling clothes resemble a burial shroud, and the cave itself prefigures Christ’s tomb. Theox and ass portrayed, are from the prophesy of Isaiah.
Jesus came to us in order to die, and this was known by Him even from the very beginning.He took away death, by conquering death, through His Glorious Resurrection!
Sin entered the world through Adam and Eve, the first created man and woman, and now we all sin. There are big sins and little sins, but everyone sins, and any sin separates us from God.
Because of God’s great love for each one of us, He did something incredibly special. Jesus Christ the Son of God, willingly took all the sins of everyone ever born, that means you, me, the whole world, and put them all upon Himself.When Jesus died and was buried, all our sins died and were buried too. We also remember this at our baptism, and are now forgiven because of what Jesus did for us on the cross!
He is the Son of God – and arose victorious, from the dead!
This is why we no longer fear death.
Death is a new beginning.
Those who have gone on before us, are alive in Christ… For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him. ~St. Luke 20:38
I’ve been singing and humming the Paschal Tropar a lot today. It helps softens sadness, and bestows hope and joy.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. ~ Revelation 21:4
With the saints give rest, O Christ our God to the soul of Thy servant, Nicholas. Memory Eternal.