Protocol. No. 13/2019
December 25, 2019 / January 7, 2020
CHRIST IS BORN! GLORIFY HIM!
Dear Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I greet you with great joy and love in the Name of our Incarnate Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as we celebrate the Feast Day of His Nativity. It is a day when once again the compassion and mercy of God is revealed to us. I give thanks to Almighty God by whose grace we have been given the opportunity to celebrate the Birth of His Son. We joyfully sing, “God is with us”, remembering all that has been done for us on this great day when God entered the world as one of us, born as a little baby to save mankind!
As we seek reconciliation with God and with each other, we realize the battle that rages between mind and heart, knowledge and faith, secular society and the Church. Today every family has to find its way to live an authentic Orthodox life in a secular sometimes hostile world. Although our modern society does not recognize, and is even antagonistic to the religious meaning and significance of the season, it has gotten into the habit of celebrating what we might call a worldly or secular Christmas, especially in a commercial or materialistic way. So the season of frantic “busyness” and commercialism takes a spiritual toll on all of us.
Perhaps it seems sometimes that the celebration and spirit of this bright and joyous day will soon disappear. However, as Christians, we know that the spirit of this day reaches far beyond one day, for God is with us – yesterday, today and tomorrow. In today’s frantic world, the Good News of the Birth of our Saviour brings with it hope and faith. When sorrow and sadness, sickness or hard times overtake our lives, when it seems as if darkness has triumphed over the light, we remember that the Light illumined the world on this blessed day, “the true Light which gives light to every human coming into the world” (John 1:9). Let us therefore celebrate and give thanks to the Lord for His great gift, with confidence that we are not alone, for God is always with us!
Today may all of us, Priests, Panis, Deacons, Subdeacons, Readers, Parish Officers, Parishioners (young and old ), Friends, and Supporters of our God-protected American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese experience the joy and wonders of the Shepherds and the awe and respect of the Three Wise Men at the arrival of the Messiah, our new born King. Christ is Born!
Greetings from Johnstown with much love,
+Metropolitan Gregory of Nyssa