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Episcopal message for the blessed Feast of the Nativity of our Lord 2018

When the angel appeared to the shepherds, he said to them, “For there is born to You this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11). This verse contains at least four facts about the birth of Jesus. 1) He was born for us; 2) Born in the city of David; 3) He is the Savior; and 4) He is Christ the Lord.

1) He was born for us.

His love compelled Him to “make Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.” (Phil. 2:7). This is what we express in the creed: “who for us men…came down from heaven.” He came for us because He loves us. When we could not reach Him because of our indulgence in sin, He came to lift us up to Him and to reveal His love and the love of our Heavenly Father. Therefore, as He was born for us, let us make every effort to live for others and not for ourselves.

2) Born in the city of David.

Because “the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:32-33). He came to establish His spiritual kingdom and to reign in the hearts of those who accept Him as their one and true king, and submit their lives totally to Him as their personal Savior. His kingdom comes about by a personal conscious choice to live according to His will. This happens when we understand and recognize how much He loves us. “We Love Him because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19). When we open ourselves to His everlasting love, our souls are enlightened, and we will need nothing more than His divine light in our lives. And, therefore, He fills all our needs and we can truly say to Him: “there is none upon the earth that I desire besides you.” (Psalm 73:25). We should ask ourselves: have I yet completely given my heart to the Lord and Savior, or is part of it still with the world and others?

3) He is the Savior.

This is what His name means; because this is the main purpose for His incarnation. When the angel appeared to St. Joseph he said to him: “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” (Matt. 1:21). As St. Peter witnessed, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12). This is what we affirm in our creed saying, “who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven.” Do I feel that, through His blessed name, I am freed from the servitude of sin, or am I still struggling with issues in my life?

4) He is the Christ the Lord.

Saint John reveals his purpose for writing near the end of his gospel: “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book. But theses are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” (John 20:30-31). Our faith in Jesus, that He is God incarnate, and that He is the Messiah, is vital for our eternal life. He only appeared in human form to accomplish salvation on the cross, however, He is the “Only Begotten Son…Begotten of the Father before all ages.” He came in humility in His first coming, but He will come in His glory and the glory of His Father in His second coming. We need to be ready as the five wise virgins, and always be prepared for His second coming in which He will judge the world.

NYNE – The Glorious Nativity Feast Message 2018 (English & Arabic)

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