On Wednesday, January 27, on the Serbian feast of the holy hierarch St. Sava, His Grace Jerome, Bishop of Manhattan (Russian Church Abroad), celebrated the Divine Liturgy in St. George Serbian Church in Elizabeth, NJ. Shortly before the greeting of Vladyka, the wonder-working Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God arrived at the church, accompanied by diocesan secretary Archpriest Serge Lukianov. A special and unexpected joy occurred in church: the genuine unity in Holy Orthodoxy of the Russian and Serbian peoples was tangible when, instead of the parish choir, the entire church sang the Divine Liturgy in Slavonic and Serbian.
Dear brothers and sisters,
Two thousand years ago, wise men from the East rejoiced beholding the star which led them to Bethlehem in Judea. Who knows how many days they travelled to behold the newborn King of the Jews? When they saw Him, they bowed down to Him and gave Him gold, frankincense and myrrh (Mt. 2:11).They gave Him the very best that they had. And it is our belief that they exerted themselves to obtain the gold, frankincense and myrrh. And we also, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, do today what they did then whenever we give to His Church.
Every year, hundreds of millions of Christians celebrate the Nativity of the Son of God. On this great feast, millions of children of God experience and feel God's proximity in the atmosphere of God's love and grace. Being permeated and illumined by the angelic hymn: "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will among men" (Luke 2:14), we are united with the newly born God-child.