Christmas Greeting of Bishop

Christmas Greeting of Bishop of Kashira Iov Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in Canada

Very Reverend and Honorable Fathers! Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ!

Христос рождается, славите Его! Christ is Born: Let us glorify Him!

Nativity of Our Lord

Nativity of Our Lord

With heartfelt joy I congratulate you all with the great feasts: the Nativity of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem, His Circumcision in flesh on the Eighth Day upon His Birth and His Baptizing in The Jordan River!

The Nativity of Jesus Crist is the Feast that brings to the followers of Christ the essential thing in their life. Two thousand years ago, during the population census in the Roman Empire, the most vital event in the human history took place in Bethlehem of Judea — was born Our Lord Jesus Christ. It is difficult for us to wholly comprehend how God and a Human being were united; how infinity was encompassed into the voluntary restraint, and eternity — incorporated into the limits of time…

Though Our Savior was born in the most despondent surroundings, His Birth has performed the real revolution in the world: it was the turning point from perdition to salvation of humankind. God Himself, who “will save His people from their sins” (Math. 1:21), has come to us. This greatest event and the kindest deed in the world has brought to all God-believers spiritual joy and real happiness, since from the moment of the Nativity of Jesus Christ God has been truly residing with us.

The Nativity of Jesus Christ is always above all social events in the world history. In the time of political crises and social troubles it is very important to remember that God has united with people through His Birth and became close to us, as nobody else.

Saint John Chrysostom noted that all other great Christian feasts are rooted in the Nativity of Jesus Christ: The Baptizing of Christ (The Feast of Epiphany), The Transfiguration, The Passions of Our Lord, His Glorious Resurrection and the Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles. Everything in the Christian Orthodox Church has as its beginning the Nativity of Our Lord.

Saint Basil the Great and the other Holy Fathers expressed their admiration in front of the mystery of the Nativity and Epiphany in the words of theology, sermons and poems. But they noted along with that it is better for us to be silent and meekly attend the great moment… Every our good deed in the name of the Glory of God, helps us to bow in front of Him, as once bowed in front of him the simple shepherds, who were first “to find Him in the swaddling clothes, lying in the manger…” (Luke, 2:8-14). The angelic singing gives strength to our prayers; the bright light of the eternal star of Bethlehem awakens in us the willingness to bring to Him the best things that we possess — the freshest and the most beautiful!

In the luminous and quiet Bethlehem night of the Nativity of Jesus Christ I wish that we all and the whole world return with all our hearts to Our Savior, who is meekly lying at this moment in the Bethlehem manger… Only together with God our soul acquires the fullness of life in any earthy circumstances! When we are with God, nobody is able to harm us! God is with us now and forever! Amen!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Nativity of Our Lord, 2017-2018