Christmas and These Troubled Times

While the Christmas season often brings us hope through the news of God’s good will toward all people, this year we are also facing an economically threatening time.   We certainly believe God acted in the past to accomplish His plan for the salvation of the world, but do we have faith in God even in tour current troubled times?  

chrysostom “Chrysostom would be quick to admit that our present situation in the world must also be interpreted in light of God’s ultimate goal and end for human history.  The present must be viewed in light of the end, and premature opinions as to the goodness of providence must be delayed until history itself reaches the conclusion God has set for it.  Because only the end of history will finally clarify God’s actions in history, our present interpretive stance must be one of patience and humility. … Chrysostom comments, ‘that our present knowledge is grossly deficient and that complete knowledge is reserved for the age to come.  Only a very small amount has been given to us at the present time.” (Christopher Hall quoted in ANCIENT & POSTMODERN CHRISTIANITY: PALEO-ORTHODOXY IN THE 21ST CENTURY)

The Incarnation of the Son of God

nativityChristmas is the celebration of the Incarnation of the Son of God.

Humility is Divine; it bowed the heavens and came down to earth, took our flesh and became the God-man.”  (CHRIST IN OUR MIDST: LETTERS FROM A RUSSIAN MONK)

Christmas is a revelation of the truth of God.

“Jesus is not the eternal truth who becomes incarnate, for it is only in his becoming man, in his flesh, that he is the truth.”   (Eric Osborn)

Christmas is the beginning of the salvation of humankind.

For St. Ignatius of Antioch, “The incarnation itself took its significance from the fact that what was being planned was nothing short of the abolition of death.”  (N.T. Wright, THE RESURRECTION OF THE SON OF GOD)

Christmas is preceded by a fasting period in which we contemplate what God revealed to us in the Nativity of His Son, born of the Virgin Mary, and in which we through prayer and fasting enter into the salvation which God offers to the world.