Christ is born! Glorify Him!
Christ is on earth! Be exalted!
Each year we joyfully celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ the eternal Son of God and Son of the Virgin Mary. The celebration is not simply a commemoration of His birth but is even much more beautiful than this. His birth of the Virgin Mary without seed is of great importance for through His birth He was in the process of accomplishing our salvation. No other birth could accomplish what His birth did. For by his Virgin birth, He, being God himself was now in the flesh starting a real battle against our enemy the Devil and the dominion of death. He accomplished this of course and on every Pascha we sing this beautiful hymn: “Christ is risen from the dead trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!” Christ having conquered our enemies did not abandon us and return to heaven, because He is God and is everywhere present at all times, and his battle with evil directly concerns each and every one of us. Yes, He ascended into heaven but not by leaving earth, for He also said: I am with you to the close of the age, until the end of time.
Jesus not leaving earth, guides His faithful co-workers and helps them to bring into His holy Church all who desire to be saved and come to knowledge of the truth and how to share in eternal life. And we remember that He is the God man, both God and man and is therefore without limitations ore any form of restriction. We must understand that there are no restrictions in the work of God except those put forth by misled free persons. Also the fact that God will not force a free person to accept and follow Him against their will. But that constitutes a limitation of the free person and it was God who willingly gives freedom to whom He so wills.
Think of the value of freedom which is touted as the greatest blessing of mankind here in the West. This country was formed by those who were seeking freedom from the king of England. Even this freedom is not genuine freedom, for besides the king of England, there is another malicious king who seeks to enslave our minds and hearts by making us his slaves and deceiving us to think that freedom from the king of England is everything. But although that freedom was accomplished, what good is it if we have a much worse and more evil tyrant ruling our souls? Freedom does not mean just to do whatever you wish, but it means freedom from every evil power, having only the desire for what is good. Men that are prisoners of the Devil are much worse off than those under the dominion of the king of England. The Devil is invisible and hides himself by not declaring even that he exists. But his actions are seen among men, who in immorality, crimes and wars oppress the human race.
Jesus Christ has defeated the inhuman tyrant and destroyed his authority over death and has rendered death benign. Instead of harming and killing others, He teaches and guides our freedom to be kind and peaceful rendering us able to rid ourselves of the evils of the Devil and adopt the goodness and benevolence of Christ. The solution to all human unhappiness is in our Lord Jesus Christ. He will not only teach us about happiness, but endow us with it for human happiness is found only in our faith in Christ, hope in Christ and love for Christ. We cannot find fulfillment elsewhere for Christ is the light of the world. Christ is the Bread who came down from heaven. Christ is our Creator who formed us out of earth and breathed His eternal spirit into us granting us freedom to act as we choose.
The evil one is a malicious robber who attacks our faith in Christ, diminishes our hope and detracts us of our love. Without Christ man can become worse than a wild animal for He is our Pedagogue and Teacher. Instead of robbing and stealing and otherwise abusing our most important God-given freedom, Christ teaches us to be benevolent and generous toward all men. Instead of fornication which robs others of their sacred treasure, He teaches abstinence and decency, replacing accursed fornication with marriage to one wife with whom he will remain faithful. He also teaches us to shun adultery and remain faithful to one spouse, which prevents suspicion, accusations, maliciousness and immorality. If all men followed Christ there will be a cessation of wars, causing peace to reign. Instead of war men will be encouraged to institute mutual help and assistance among friendly nations. Generosity will take the place of unkindness and selfishness. Christ will be worshiped as the true God He is and men will love Him and each other with perfect love. This will cause our earthly lives to become happy and heavenly and filled with joy.
The healthy and upright condition of the world wherein Christ reigns is desirable and achievable for He is the solution of all the ills of mankind. For this reason when His Feast days like Christmas are celebrated we Orthodox have great reason to celebrate the greatest thing that ever happened or could happen which is the descent of the God of all becoming man like us after dwelling in the Virgin’s woman and subsequently being born in the flesh in Bethlehem of Judea. There is nothing more wonderful than Jesus Christ, nothing more beautiful, nothing more glorious, nothing greater, and nothing more beneficial than the human race He created which is the object of His great and perfect love. On Christmas day we rejoice singing triumphantly: “Christ is born! Glorify Him! Christ from the heavens, go to meet Him. Christ is on earth, be exalted! Sing unto all the earth and praise Him in gladness O people, for He has been glorified!”