We extend our heartfelt prayers and blessings to each of you this Christmas. At Matins we festively chant “God is With Us” – “Съ Нами Богъ”! God appears on earth in the Christ-Child and is laid among the poor in an obscure cave. The Angels proclaim this Mystery singing “Glory to God in the Highest” and the wise men follow a star to the birth place of Christ offering gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Without deliberate and intentional effort, one can easily become caught up in the ever increasing secularization of Christmas. If at this moment we recognize that our primary focus has been on the consumerism and chaos that so often typifies the modern experience of the holiday, be of good cheer that it is never too late to offer a gift to Christ.
In one of the many traditional Orthodox hymns of the Nativity, we sing at Vespers:
What shall we offer You, O Christ,
Who for our sake has appeared on the earth as a man?
Every creature which You have made offers You thanks.
The angels offer You a song.
The heavens, their star.
The wise men, their gifts.
The shepherds, their wonder.
The earth, its cave.
The wilderness, the manger.
And we offer You a Virgin Mother.
O Pre-eternal God, have mercy on us!
Please consider committing some time over these sacred days to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. The most precious gift one can offer to God is oneself. May the peace and joy of Christmas envelop you through out this blessed season.