Nativity Thoughts - Christ is Born! Glorify Him!!
Today we join together with the Church to glorify and honour and commemorate the birth of Him our God. Our Church following the Syrian tradition brought to India prescribe the fast of 25 days and come together as Church and celebrate the feast of Nativity.
Evening: St. John 1: 1-18
By the Fire Pit: Hebrew 1:1-12, St. Luke 2:1-14
Morning: St. Luke 2:15 -20
Before Holy Qurbana: Genesis 21: 1-8, Micah 5: 1-8, Isaiah 9:1-7
Holy Qurbana: 1 John 1:1-10, Galatians 3:23- 4:7, St. Mathew 2:1-12
Once again, I am amazed at how wonderfully how the Fathers have arranged the Scripture readings noting for the first time this year how the very essence of the theology of Incarnation is brought out through the Gospel and the Epistle reading from St. John the Theologian. Need to remind myself to memorize it.
As we go forward to another year, a reminder that strikes out is need to remain faithful and be a channel for this generation to reflect and live out the teachings now as the fathers have proclaimed and lived in the past. This year, I was blessed to read of how the Church had used this wonderful Anaphora of St. Timothy of Alexandria in the Liturgy to teach and affirm its Christology against Chalcedon. Pray it will be used by each of us to know whom we believe
“In truth you are Holy and Blessed by all, O God the Father, and Holy and Blessed by all is your Only begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ, who was born ineffably before the world, who eternally holds the throne at the right hand side of your majesty, and your Holy Spirit who is Holy and Blessed by all, through whom all things of earth and heaven are sanctified.
And those who are near to you in Heaven offer glory and honour, to your name and [you are] honoured by all, O King of the worlds. We therefore, your servants, [who have] many sins, while answering with the heavenly armies, We praise, glorify, and bless and ask you for mercy - Our Savior and God, Have mercy upon us, Reveal your merciful face to us and save us. For you are the one who had mercy upon our race and sent your only begotten Son, Lord, who is our Saviour Jesus Christ, Illuminator, Benefactor and Redeemer of our souls and bodies, Who was proclaimed by His prophets in the ancient days, when He was about to dwell among us, came in the end of time and took Himself our humanity ; the Word became flesh; He neither took change nor alteration, but by the Holy Spirit He was conceived by Mary , The Ever Virgin and Holy Mother of God. He took a body having a rational and intelligent soul, in True and Hypostatic unity, which was not an imaginary apparition. Without Separation, or Division, He truly took a human Body and Soul and all that a man has and in all things He resembled us except Sin. He did not merely dwell among men, but while being perfectly God the Word, He perfectly took flesh and became man. His Divinity did not become Humanity, but He remained in His Divinity and took completely the Human nature. He was not two, but One King, One Christ, One Lord, One God the Word Incarnated who is revealed to us. He dwelt among men, affirmed the earth and blessed it; He restrained the waves of the sea. He was known with His deeds, revealed in power, conquered the human passions and put an end to the transgressions of the law, converted the erring, and destroyed the power of death from us, which had man in the beginning and showed Him to be invincible in the end. Through the [human] body He caught hold of [death] and that which was caught was destroyed. Through His death, he restored the glory of man who was destitute from glory.”
This year with my usual critical view of Christmas programs only for parents using as opportunity to mere showing off the talents of children and the boisterous and stylish, I am being led to be more and work together to understanding and caring within the family and foster such thoughts to the Church as a whole.
I believe a part of it is the reminder sent through this wonderful prayer sent by my brother and the message of the Nativity Homily by Fr. Binny Kuruvilla to go even beyond that is our calling.
“Heavenly Father, I know that I have sinned against you and that my sins separate me from you. I am truly sorry. I now want to turn away from my sinful past and turn to you for forgiveness. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your Son, Jesus Christ, died for my sins, that He was raised from the dead and is alive. I invite Jesus to become my Savior and the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey you and to convict me when I sin. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.”
“For a Christian the Nativity of Christ is not limited to December 25, but each day and every moment that we allow Christ in our lives as affirmed by Gospel reading to “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord “This was the experience of the wise men and witness of the Church who allowed to be guided to Him unlike King Herod.
I pray this will be the experience of each of us and in all our encounters
Feast of Nativity - 2011