“Every year as Christmas approaches, we hear a great deal of speculation about the meaning of Christmas in a society that is persistently trying to shake off its Christian identity. During such a debate about the meaning of Christmas, one comment in particular struck me: “Christmas is a feast for children.”
Although the person who made this comment intended it to be taken in a negative sense, I was surprised to find myself agreeing with him. For Christ said, “Become as little children” (Matt. 18:3). What do children have that we adults are missing? First of all, they have a capacity for wonder and innocent joy, which in adults is tainted by cynicism and sinfulness. Secondly, they are capable of complete trust, which ends up being choked by the thorns of adulthood. And thirdly, they possess absolute humility. These childlike characteristics-wonder, joy, faith, humility-should be our response to the Nativity.”
— Meditations for Advent: Preparing for Christ’s Birth, pgs. 57-58, by Father Vasilios Papavasiliou
Wonder, joy, faith and humility. These beautiful childlike characteristics are the foundation of our relationship with our loving God. They are at the center of happiness enabling us to enjoy life with the exuberance of youth - no matter how old we are. Combine the excitement and anticipation of Christmas morning for a child as he or she awaits the opening of presents, with the depth of understanding the True Gift the world is about to receive - our Lord Jesus, Christ Emmanuel, God with us - and we have a Wonder of wonders, a Miracle of miracles. We have Life.
Each year we celebrate the 12 days of Christmas beginning on December 25 and concluding on January 6 (or January 7-19 for Old Calendar Orthodox) with our Lord's Baptism or Theophany. An Epiphany or Theophany – a “Revelation of God”, occurs for the Ages. “God is with us! Give ear all you nations and be humbled! For God is with us! “God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have life everlasting” (John 3:16).
This Christmas and Theophany, let us endeavor to attitudinally approach our Loving Lord with the attitude of a loving child. With wonder, joy, faith and humility let us make room in our hearts for our Savior. As the earth offered a cave for Him to be born, may He dwell within us so that with every fiber of our being we may shout aloud - Christ is born! Glorify Him! Have a most glorious celebration of the Birth of our Lord and Savior.
Merry and Blessed Christmas!