On the Eve of Orthodox Christmas, interim head of the Russian Orthodox Church Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad congratulated Orthodox Christians.
"Today we recall how the Son of God came down to people so that each one of us could rejoin Him. But to allow this to happen, there must be a response on our part, response worthy of divine love - our own love, active and sacrificial," the Metropolitan said in his Christmas message to believers.
“Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel, translated (God is with us).” Isaiah 7:147. January 2009 - 14:37
On Christmas Day, "a child is born to us, a son is given to us, and the government is upon his shoulders; and his name shall he called Wonderful Counselor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace . . . He shall sit upon the "throne of David and upon his kingdom, to establish it and to strengthen it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth and forever." Isaiah 9: 6-7.
When Christ was born in that low and humble place - the world was ready for his coming, the pure womb that was to bear him was prepared. The great and awful event awaited by men since the moment of that first promise may be worthily recorded only in the inspired word of God: "Behold," says the Angel Gabriel to Mary, "thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shall call his name, Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High
The Feast of the Nativity of Jesus is one of the most joyful days of the Orthodox Church. It ranks next to the greatest holiday, the Resurrection of Jesus. The Feast of the Birth of Jesus is also known as the "Incarnation of Christ." This means that Jesus became a man and came into the world to save us. We also refer to this joyous feast as Christmas.
The story of the Nativity of Christ is beautifully told in the Holy Scriptures. The story is found in Matthew 1:18-25 and in Luke 2:1-20. No matter how often the Birth of Jesus is told, we realize that it is an important event.
The Serbian Orthodox faithful of Boise, Idaho finally received for the first time their diocesan bishop, Bishop Maxim of Western America, who made a archpastoral visit on Saturday, December 27, 2008. Visiting with the bishop was V. Rev. Blasko Paraklis.
Bishop Maxim officiated that day at the Divine Liturgy at the local Greek Orthodox Church. Assisting the bishop were Fr. Nektarios Serfes and Fr. Blasko Paraklis. Some sixty people actively attended and participated in this eucharistic event. A lunch was served following the liturgy. The faithful were overjoyed with the bishop's archpastoral visit which signified a beginning of a more active church life for them in their city of Boise.
The Russian Orthodox Church predicts, in case the West finally refuses its Christian heritage, it will face "war of all against all."
"When the West tries to expel, to erase every reminder of Christ from public space, it's pathology of fighting against their own conscience, their own tradition. It won't surprise me, if the West loses itself entirely in this fight," Deputy Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin said on Saturday in the Orthodox Encyclopedia TV program on TV Center.
TheSerbian Orthodox Church
toher spiritual children at Christmas, 2008
By the Grace of God
Orthodox Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovciand Serbian Patriarch, with all the Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church toall the clergy, monastics, and all the sons and daughters of our Holy Church:grace, mercy and peace from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and theHoly Spirit, with the joyous Christmas greeting:
Peace from God! Christ is Born!
Everyyear, dear spiritual children, and so it is this year as well,we anticipate and welcome Christmas, the birthday of the Son ofGod, with joy, faith, hope and love. Why? Because it is in this event that the"fullness of time" was fulfilled, and so God the Father, "gave His onlybegotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but haveeverlasting life" (John 3:16). This event is the fulfillment of all cosmologicaland historical events: everything that had happened in God's creation andmankind's history received in that day "which the Lord had made" itsfulfillment and realization. The entry of God into the innermost part of liferepresents, also, a fulfillment of all of mankind's deepest yearnings asattested and proclaimed in all earthly nations before the birth of Christ. WithHis birth, the light of the knowledge of God shone forth. In that Divine lightthe meaning of the world, nature, and the ultimate goal of man's existence andthe existence of all creatures, both visible and invisible, was revealed to us.