Christmas Enclytical of His Grace Bishop Longon of New Gracanica and Midwestern America
It is that 'the Word became flesh' and the Master took on the form of a slave.
He became the Son of Man, though He was the true Son of God, in order that He might make the sons of men children of God.
-St. John Chrysostom, Homily 10
We remember this Christmas, our dear faithful, the abovementioned words of St. John Chrysostom, which explain the birth of God from the Virgin Mary. It is always important, especially during these festal days, to have before our eyes an image of God, Who out of love towards us “lowered Himself to raise up man.” By the recalling to our consciousness of the great sacrifice of God, we can correctly understand our relationship with the All-loving Father, and especially the general joy of the Nativity, which is offered to us.
With prayers and church hymns, let us strive to worthily await the day of salvation of the entire human race! Let us pray for mercy from the God-Child for ourselves, our families and for the entire Serbian and Orthodox People and to remain “in His love”, in oneness of mind and piety. For there is nothing of greater importance for a man than to grasp and understand the appearance of God in the world, as well as His mission of salvation.
Jesus Christ, whose coming in the flesh we are celebrating, does not force anyone to be deified or to be in communion with Him, but he expects that His followers, who live a life worthy of true Christians, become sons of God by grace. Furthermore, let us contemplate on this during Christmas time and attempt to understand the need of more-frequent communion with God, by regular attendance in church at services and through personal prayerful struggles.
Therefore, again this year, we address you with the desire to congratulate you and extend our sincerest and most-joyous greetings of this specific occurrence, by which God saves the world and man.
Peace of God! Christ is born! A Happy and God-Blessed New Year 2014!
Bishop of New Gracanica and Midwestern America