The Orthodox Church is celebrating Christmas, Patriarch Kirill says. The grandeur and solemnity of the Holiday stem from the fact of the incarnation of God. God becomes man, so a combination of the earthly and the heavenly is inseparable from now on. Today’s secular consciousness has largely mythologized and distorted the image of Christ. He is now seen as an altruist, a holder of obsolete ethics. No more than the Christians’ spiritual leader, at best. But we will never accept the attempted removal of the true evangelical interpretation of Christ as the God-Man from contemporary culture. Jesus Christ is the tuning fork of humanity. Once we lose that model, we will have nothing we could use to counter the powerful challenges of this day and age, the challenges that are basically aimed against the true and traditional concept of man.
It is very important that we continually gaze in the face of Jesus, and check our thoughts and moves against His. We should become inspired by the example of His infinite love for all God’s people, His zealous praying to and serving His Heavenly Father, His modesty and meekness, His intolerance of sin and forbearance with sinners, His courage in suffering the grief and hardships of mortal life, His sincerity and simplicity of communication with friends and His constant and limitless readiness for self-sacrifice. God comes to this world not as a powerful and glorious tsar to have everyone serv
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e and please Him, but He is instead born humble of heart in a manger to serve people and give His life for their salvation. God tells the world for the first time ever what a true person should be like. Not only did He show this, but He also gave whatever was required for anyone who accepted Christ by faith to become this kind of person.
The Sacrament of Baptism introduces us to the Church, - the community of faith, and administers the Divine Body and Blood through the Eucharist. The church service reminds us of what Jesus did to ensure our salvation, inspires us by the word of God and the examples set by the Saints. All this is capable of making fundamental changes in each one of us. It is thanks to living in Christ and conforming unto Christ that man can start feeling imparadised when still on the earth, man can start living in compliance with the spirit of God’s love that will rule supreme in their future life. “By this shall all know that ye are disciples of mine, if ye have love amongst yourselves”, the Saviour tells us.
Our joy today about Jesus Christ’s coming to this world should be specifically manifested in our readiness to celebrate the Holiday by doing a good deed. There’s always someone nearby in need of our assistance or support, such as our next of kin or our neighbours. Above all, the lonely sick people in hospices or hospitals, despondent, burdened with grief and sorrow, and/or earthly woes. Share the Good News of Christmas with them. Let your bright smile, your joy about the Newborn Baby warm up their ice-cold souls. In our prayers, let us recall those who suffered in recent terrorist attacks in Volgograd and Pyatigorsk. We will ask our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the wounds of the injured, alleviate the suffering of the afflicted, and give eternal rest to the souls of the dead. Let the walls of estrangement separating people crumple up on that wonderful day of Christmas. Let these walls be destroyed by the love for Christ and the power of your strenuous love for your neighbours. Merry Christmas to you all, my dear brethren!