FROM GOD TO THE GOD-MAN
Man, by designation, was created in the image of God and was given to perfect himself in good according to the perfection of the Perfect God.
As man fell under the first and, at that time only, temptation, God warned him mildly, punished him, but He didn't cast him away. He promised him that He would send the Savior who will return him to God. That Savior is the Son of God who, behold, comes to us again to warn us not to turn from the path on which God has directed us, to warn us that without God we have no life. Christ arrived among us in a time, as the Apostle Paul witnesses, “end times”, when man has stripped himself of God and dirtied himself to such extent that he didn't know another way out other than self-destruction. “Christ came in the time of human-mud, in order to cleanse man, that he shine with divine light and be filled with Divine truth, love, goodness and beauty which was given him from God at the beginning of the world and time.”
“Christ is the God-man, that is the starting point of Christianity, from it everyone without exception must begin. The evangelists and apostles, martyrs and confessors, holy fathers and miracle-workers begin from this starting point. It is the basic dogma of Christianity; from it are brought all other dogmas and all other facts,” is beautifully stated by St. Abba Justin (Sowing and Reaping, Thoughts, Book 2, p. 272).
Christmas is a day of joy and we greet one another on these days of joy with the divinely-wise, Christian greeting: “Peace from God, Christ is born!” and reply: “Indeed He is born!”
Here the mightiest symbolism is summarized – Christ the Savor has been born, in the city of Bethlehem, the long awaited Messiah and Savior. And there is no end to this joy. This joy is greater than the joy of the Resurrection, for had Christ not come neither would there be a Resurrection.
“Christmas is the parent of all the other good days, Christmas is the first Christian good day, which with its light sanctifies the children of Adam and brought joy into their souls; the first sweet day in many thousands of bitter days of godlessness in the world. Before Christ the human race didn't know of the love of God for children nor children towards the Father” (St. Bishop Nikolai, Missionary Letters, Thoughts of Bishop Nikolai, p. 224).
In celebrating Christmas we are celebrating the birth of God in human flesh and the rebirth of earthly man into a heavenly angel, an Icon of Him. Christmas prepares us for the new, inner renewal of man. But this cannot occur without knowledge of God and His love. Christ teaches us that there is no path, neither truth nor life, without God. All the knowledge of this world without God are only sufferings to our souls. While all joy is in knowing Him who is the source of this world who directed us, the ignorant to go and preach in tongues and teach people about God. St. Bishop Nikolai concludes: “All the more worldly knowledge without that holy knowledge, all the more damage.” Today, when the world trembles of worldly movements and economic hardships, we should know that – the more worldly treasure there is without the main, heavenly treasure, it is only more damage. “Christ is the only One who gives us earthly and heavenly goods, and can prevent the learned from abusing their knowledge and the wealthy from abusing their wealth” (St. Nikolai).
May our joy this year be in the knowledge and wealth which comes from God, from the Christ-child who brings us Peace, and not from worldly “peacekeepers” who frighten us daily.
Your intercessor before the Christ-child,
Bishop Georgije of Canada