• Michael Haldas

Christmas


“You and I have been trained by our culture to not believe in the supernatural…as a Jewish woman, Mary had been trained by her culture to not believe that God could ever become a human being. So, though they are different, the barriers she faced against belief in the Christmas message were every bit as big as the barriers you may be facing.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

…if you take a step back and look at how we’ve come to celebrate Christmas, we’re getting it all wrong. Christmas is filled with stress instead of with joy. And once Christmas comes, instead of celebrating, we’re relieved that it is over. We’ve commercialized Christmas—it is not a season of holiness but a season of advertising, sales and business transactions…The world has turned Christmas into a holiday of material gain. Commercialism is ruining the season. Stress has overtaken joy.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

"So the Feast of the Nativity is not the birth of Christ, but the Incarnation of the Son of God in the flesh. It is the day the Creator came to live with His Creation. It is the day that the uncontained God was “contained” in a human body.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

“The point of the virginal conception is that what was involved was not the production of a new person who did not previously exist, but the giving of a new nature, a human nature to a divine person Who already existed and had existed from all eternity.” (Bishop John of Amorion)

“...we have been looking at what Christmas means. It means illumination and spiritual light from God; it means reconciliation and peace with God by grace; it means God taking on a human nature.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“Jesus Christ, the Son, Word, and Image of God, is physically and spiritually formed in the body of Mary so that He might be formed in us as well (see Gal 4:19). This is the meaning of Christmas, which is the meaning of life itself: Christ in us and we in Christ, God with us and we with God. The Spirit in our hearts so that the Spirit can flow out from us, sanctifying the world around us. This is not mere symbolism, the high-blown language of the liturgy and the scriptures. This is serious business. It is a matter of life and death.’ (Father Thomas Hopko)

"Christmas is our reminder that the God of limitless power and knowledge and goodness seeks brotherhood with us, that he crowns every person with equal dignity, that he cherishes every moment of every life, that he wants men and women to freely decide their own fates, and that he requires them to take responsibility for making difficult choices. This portrait of God pops out of every creche." (Charles W. Calomiris)

“Christmas means that, through the grace of God and the incarnation, peace with God is available; and if you make peace with God, then you can go out and make peace with everybody else. And the more people who embrace the Gospel and do that, the better off the world is. Christmas, therefore, means the increase of peace—both with God and between people—across the face of the world.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“The story of the birth of Christ and its true significance is often clouded by the commercialism of the season. There is a very frenzied pace to these days which can so easily depersonalize us and dampen the true joy of the season…What can we do? Let us remember that the season celebrates the love of God revealed in the coming of Christ. For those with faith, the colored lights, the green trees, the wreaths and the flowers are the symbols of the joy of Christmas. Let us celebrate the joy of Christ’s coming!” (Reverend Thomas Fitzgerald)

“Jesus Christ made this point clear when He said to Philip, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father." (Jn. 14:9). This is exactly what the good news of Christmas is--that God has shown us what He is like in the person of His Son, and has invited us to establish a personal relationship with Him. The tiny infant that Mary cradled in a Bethlehem manger was the "visible likeness" of our invisible God. (Col. 1:15).” (Rev. Andrew Demotses)

“The unique truth of Christmas is that the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. The unique outcome was that this marked the beginning of a new creation, a possible rebirth of humanity. God, through His Son, entered into our human life that we, believing in Him, might receive power to become “sons of God.” The Baby who had no cradle but a manger became the one Lord and Savior of mankind! Christianity is not a creed to be recited but a new life to be lived in Christ.” (Father Michael Baroudy)

#CharlesWCalomiris #PastorTimothyKeller #ReverendThomasFitzgerald #RevAndrewDemotses #RevFrMichaelBaroudy #FrStavrosNAkrotirianakis #BishopJohnofAmorion #FatherThomasHopko