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“Another reason for the dullness of mind is the over-familiarity that breeds complacency. It is possible to go from one Christmas to the next without growing in our understanding of the incarnation of the Son of God. In that case, our mind is like a knife that keeps cutting the same thing until it loses its edge. The remedy for this loss of sharpness is not a novelty. Rather, we should pay more attention to what is sung, prayed, and proclaimed and probe more deeply into its meaning.” (Fr. Basil)

“And who is this Son of God? We have already said many things about Him, but here is a summary of who He is: He is both divine and human, both fully God and fully man. He is the second Person of the Holy Trinity, which consists of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is human in every way yet without sin. He is one divine Person in two natures—divine and human. With the Incarnation—a word that means “taking on flesh,” indicating that God has now truly become man—humanity is now joined to God.” (Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick)

“When this salvation, theosis [union with God], is presented to Abraham in Genesis 15, it is not a new development. Rather, it represents the purpose for which humanity was originally created. It is the destiny of humanity, created a little lower than the angels but crowned with glory and honor, to surpass the angelic hosts through Christ’s incarnation (Ps 8:1-5; Heb 2:7-9).” (Fr. Stephen De Young)

“…salvation is our being united to God, already in the incarnation of the Word salvation has begun for us. Salvation is not just from Christ’s death on the cross, but because it was the incarnate God who died on the cross, His resurrection is the way to our salvation for it eliminates all the obstacles to our union with God (namely, death or our mortality). So not only in the Christmas Feast, but also in the Annunciation and even in the birth of the Theotokos [Mary], we humans see God working out our salvation—establishing the very way to our union with God. So, the Nativity of Christ is also the Feast of our Salvation: Paradise is open to us again and we celebrate this grand re-opening at every Feast of Christ or the Theototkos.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)

“We tend to think in linear, historical terms, beginning with God having brought creation into being, followed by the first human beings, Adam and Eve, using their God-given freedom against their creator and so plunging the world into sin and mortality, a condition in which it languished while the work of salvation was gradually being prepared, culminating in the Incarnation of Christ. If, in this perspective, we affirm the unity of creation and salvation, it would be in the sense of the whole of creation being saved, or as the distinct events of creation and salvation both being fitted together into one salvation history under the control of the one God.” (Fr. John Behr)

“The uncreated Son of God will assume created human flesh, restoring the relationship with Him that mankind lost as a result of the Fall (see Rom 8:19–23). The whole world shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord…through the incarnation, God and humanity are reconciled and communion is restored not according to a substitutionary formula or measure of infinite satisfaction for sin in God’s mind but by the power of divine love, first in Christ the God-man and second in the creature…In the Incarnation, God did not come in appearance only; He truly assumed flesh and blood from the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and became the same as we are so that He could truly enter death and bring us salvation. Christ destroyed the devil's power by using the devil's strongest weapon—death itself.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Isaiah 11:6-9, Vigen Guroian, Orthodox Study Bible, Hebrews 2:14)

“He is born to free us all from the various forms of slavery, sickness, and corruption that mar the beauty of our souls. He was born in a time and place of violence and hatred, with His life at risk even as a small child from a jealous and bloodthirsty ruler. He lived in a world where people of different religions, political affiliations, and ethnic backgrounds despised and tried to kill one another. Purely out of love, the Savior entered fully into our corruption in order to heal us, even to the point of offering Himself on the Cross in order to liberate us from death by His glorious resurrection on the third day.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)

“The angel of the Lord first reveals Jesus as “Savior.” Ordinarily, we reserve this term for someone who saves us from danger, destruction, or death. By “saving,” we mean actions that preserve us physically, such as rescue from flood, fire, or mortal wounds. However, being saved in this present life has its limits. Like Lazarus, we will eventually die, for reprieve is only temporary. Universal death is merely forestalled by earthly saviors, for they too are mortal. The birth of Christ the Savior, however, illumines our greatest salvation. God assumes human flesh and shows other saving acts to be nothing but antitypes….He is the prototype of all saviors, for “in Christ all shall be made alive.” (Dynamis 12/24/2020)

“…we may suspect that the incarnation, the joining of God with man, was always in the plan, and not simply a response to the ancestral sin.” (Edith M. Humphrey)

“There is nothing so secular that it cannot be sacred, and that is one of the deepest messages of the Incarnation…“The distinction between the divine and the human, the sacred and the profane—the former being viewed a superior to the latter—is not valid in the Christianity of the New Testament…the creation and then the incarnation witness to one reality All things are made by God, humans beings reflect God’s image and likeness. The Spirit of God is present and active everywhere in the world. Everything that is, is holy…Jesus is the face of God. God entered creation, became part of, subject to time and space in the incarnation. Jesus then shares everything we have in this world and life except sin.” (Madeleine L'Engle, Father Michael Plekon)

“The Incarnation tells us of the paradox of two natures: of divine love and human love mixed in one vessel, contained in one human being. The Incarnation says that God became Man; and the Incarnate God, Christ, was both fully human and fully divine.” (Robert A. Johnson)

“The doctrine of the incarnation is very hard to receive…, that this God who surpasses all understanding and baffles all calculation, having passed by angels, archangels, and all the spiritual powers above, deigned to become human, and to take flesh formed of earth and clay, and enter the womb of a virgin and be borne there for nine months, be nourished with milk, and suffer all those things to which human beings are liable.” (St. John Chrysostom)

“You and I have been trained by our culture to not believe in the supernatural. As we saw earlier, 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)

“I consider it both a strange mystery and a settled matter of the faith that God prefers not to do things alone. Repeatedly, He acts in a manner that involves the actions of others when it would seem, He could have acted alone. Why would God reveal His Word to the world through the agency of men? Why would He bother to use writing? Why not simply communicate directly with people? Why speak to Moses in a burning bush? Why did the Incarnation involve Mary? Could He not have simply become man, whole, complete, adult, in a single moment?” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“With His Incarnation everything entered a new phase. The Word arranged His coming in the flesh in a unique way, so that He might win back to God that human nature which had departed from God.” (St. Irenaus)

“What had once been seen as an unbridgeable gulf between the divinity and humankind had, for Christians, been bridged by the Incarnation of the eternal Word of God made flesh. This not only bridged the gulf between the divinity and humankind. It also made God’s saving dispensation a permanent reality.” (Archimandrite Robert Taft, SJ)

“Through the incarnation we a see a God full of love and compassion for His creation, one who taught us how to love and be compassionate to others; one who unites Godself with us so that humans can go beyond what we are capable of; in the Incarnation we have a God who came to lead us to God, to an intimate union with God.” (Dr. Aristotle Papanikolaou)

“God's original intent for the Incarnation was not redemption from the Fall but adoption as sons of God...For when God contemplated creating the world, He planned on bringing it into union with Himself through the Incarnation of His Son, that is, through the Son's union with human nature." (Orthodox Study Bible, Ephesians 1:4-6)

“Without the incarnation, for example, Jesus could not have become human...It means that God is not remote—He is truly with us.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“The Church is the extension of the incarnation, the place where the Incarnation perpetuates itself.” (Metropolitan Kallistos Ware)

"The beauty of human myth reflects the transcendental beauty, while the Incarnation embodies this beauty, for Christ is the absolute Beauty of God." (Lisa Coutras)

“…belief in the incarnation of God in the man Jesus…is not an easy one to affirm… The incarnation, the idea of God becoming human was, and is not an easy thing to grasp…In the Incarnation we don’t simply see a God who became man, we see a God who emptied Godself for us…Through the incarnation we a see a God full of love and compassion for His creation, one who taught us how to love and be compassionate to others; one who unites Godself with us so that humans can go beyond what we are capable of; in the Incarnation we have a God who came to lead us to God, to an intimate union with God. Without the incarnation we don’t have any of this.” (Dr. Aristotle Papanikolaou)

"...because of the Incarnation, humanity has the ability to once again grow in relationship with God. However, still possessing free will, individuals can also choose a different path - to remain separated from God...we are all called to draw near to God through Jesus.” (Deacon and Fellow Pilgrim, Foundation Study Bible, Exodus 24:12)

“Christianity is not a highly refined “spiritual” religion...The Incarnation has changed forever the spiritual state not just of Christians, nor just of humans, but of all creation. The physical world then, including our bodies, is not a barrier to the grace of God but rather a vehicle for it.” (Archpriest Lawrence Cross)

“The scandal of the Incarnation, God-becoming-man, is the seeming contradiction of the utterly transcendent God and the particularity and limits of human existence. It is a scandal whose errors run in two directions. First, there is an assumption that God is so displeased with sin that He can have nothing to do with it, or that sin somehow nullifies the work of God. Second, there is an equally odious belief that human beings, in their observance of the commandments, are ever righteous enough to actually be compatible with true holiness. The first is an error about God, the second an error about human beings.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

#LisaCoutras #AristotlePapanikolaou #DeaconandFellowPilgrim #ArchpriestLawrenceCross #FatherStephenFreeman #ArchimandriteRobertTaftSJ #OrthodoxStudyBible #PastorTimothyKeller #MetropolitanKallistosWare #RobertAJohnson #StJohnChrysostom #StIrenaeus #VigenGuroian #FrPhilipLeMasters #Dynamis #EdithMHumphrey #MadeleineLEngle #FatherMichaelPlekon #FrBasil #FrAndrewStephenDamick #FrStephenDeYoung #FrTedBobosh #FrJohnBehr

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