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“The God of love and peace became incarnate in history and, like a glowing landmark, made a clear distinction between pre-Christian darkness and Christian light, between pre-Christian hatred and Christian love, between the pre-Christian miasma of the ‘stench of death’ and the Christian hope of the resurrection. If life today is characterized by the pre-Christian features just mentioned, the fault for that lies within ourselves. The Birth of Christ doesn’t mean the enforced dominion of love and peace; rather it’s the starting-point for a dialogue, an opportunity for us to change in such a way that, if we listen to and take to heart the divine message, we’ll be radically transformed. We’ll stop seeing other people as enemies against whom we have to defend ourselves constantly, often attacking them, in fact, in order to preserve our identity, and instead we’ll see them as brothers and sisters, for whom the Son of God was born, crucified and resurrected, just as much He was as for us.” (Ioannis Karavidopoulos)

“…much of the celebration of Christ’s birth in our culture reflects such sensibilities to the point that it has very little to do with entering into the joy brought to the world by the Nativity in the Flesh of the God-Man. One sign of this problem is the prevalence of self-centered, individualistic spirituality that blinds us to the profound gravity of how our actions impact other people.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)

“The incarnation of Christ transformed anthropology. When the Divine Logos of God assumed human nature and entered His own creation as a vulnerable human infant, He embraced all aspects of our frailty as human beings, except for sin. By this supreme act of condescension, God has united His very nature to the human condition. He has made common cause with us in our distress. It is from this ineffably gracious act that any human dignity or rights flow. It is because He suffered that we can appeal to a right of all those who bear His image also to receive relief of their suffering. However, whereas the focus in the secular western mind is on human autonomy and individual rights, in Christian anthropology the focus shifts from self to the other. The other, the second person—the ‘you’ or more intimate ‘thou’, not the autonomous, omnipotent ‘I’ – ultimately becomes for Christians the One who said, ‘As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me’ (Matthew 25:40). (Daniel Hinshaw)

“In modern times there is a great deal of emphasis placed on the human, sentimental images of a child born into poverty and laid in a manger. The Church’s hymns tend not to be so sentimental and are much more awe-struck by and focused on the fact that the Nativity is not merely the story of another poor child born in some rural and remote backwoods place. Rather, what is marveled at, is that this is how God enters into creation to save us. God humbles Himself and instead of coming into the world as a mighty and wealthy king and victorious warrior in all His glory, God comes into our lives in a most humble manner as a helpless baby submitting Himself to human care and allowing Himself to be threatened by the many hostile forces and powers that seem to rule the world.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)

“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.’ (Fr. Thomas Hopko)

“In the Feast of Christmas we are being given the essential key to understanding salvation or redemption in Christ. From the moment of His conception at the Annunciation, Christ in uniting humanity to divinity is beginning our salvation…Death is the final enemy to be destroyed by Christ in God’s plan to save humanity (1 Corinthians 15:26). It is because Christ is God incarnate that He is able to destroy both sin and death through His own death and resurrection.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh) 

“The Holy Fathers tell us that God became man in order that through His becoming man He might again raise up human nature into the blessed state” that was ours before the transgression of Adam…“Therefore, we must know in what way it is that man, through the economy of Christ’s incarnation, may again come into that blessed state” (Saint Symeon the New Theologian)

“In His Nativity, the Savior has lowered Himself in order to raise us up to the dignity from which we had fallen. He is born to share His divine life as He restores and fulfills every dimension of who we are as the children of God. That is the gloriously good news of this great feast, and it extends literally to all, regardless of what deep challenges and sorrows we face. Perhaps the Incarnation of the God-Man occurred in such difficult circumstances in order to make clear that His salvation is not an escape from the grave challenges posed by the harsh realities of life. Instead of looking for distractions from the problems of our lives, let us entrust ourselves to Him as we cooperate with His gracious purposes for the healing of our souls and for the salvation of the world. Jesus Christ became a human person so that we might become nothing less than “partakers of the divine nature” by grace. Let us celebrate this great feast by doing precisely that.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)

“The Only Begotten operated not through his own nature, for that would in no way have improved our state, or through the nature of angels; but he operated through “the seed of Abraham,” as Scripture has it. For in this way and no other could the [human] race, fallen into corruption, be restored to salvation. ” (St. Cyril of Alexandria)

“At Christmas, Theophany, and Pascha [Easter], we rejoice that “as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal 3:27). We declare that we have left behind our limited individual existence and entered into the corporate life in Christ, who comes to us from above…the Church “is formed from out of ordinary existence through a radical conversion from individualism to personhood. As death and resurrection in Christ, baptism signifies the decisive passing of our existence from the ‘truth’ of individualized being into the truth of personal being. Our former individual existence depended on birth. Now, however, a “new birth is required . . . so that each baptized person can himself become ‘Christ,’ his existence being one of communion and hence of true life” (Metropolitan John Zizioulas, Dynamis 3/13/2021)

“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)

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