Bulletin 209 - December 23, 2002/January 5, 2003
December 23, 2002/January 5, 2003
Sunday of Holy Fathers
He (Nilus) also said, 'Prayer is the seed of gentleness and the absence of anger.'
Sunday before the Nativity
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham. Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers. Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram. Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon. Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king. David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah. Solomon begot Rehoboam, Rehoboam begot Abijah, and Abija begot Asa. Asa begot Jehoshaphat, Jeshoshaphat begot Joram, and Joram begot Uzziah. Uzziah begot Jotham, Jotham begot Ahaz, and Ahaz begot Hezekiah. Hezekiah begot Manasseh, Manasseh begot Amon, and Amon begot Josiah. Josiah begot Jeconiah and his brothers about the time they were carried away to Babylon. And after they were brought to Babylon, Jeconiah begot Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel begot Abiud, Abiud begot Eliakim, and Eliakim begot Azor. Azor begot Zadok, Zadok begot Achim, and Achim begot Eliud. Eliud begot Eleazar, Eleazar begot Matthan, and Matthan begot Jacob. And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ. So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations. Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband. Being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins. So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet saying: "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us." Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth after her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.
The Evangelist St. Matthew records the long list of names described as the genealogy of Jesus Christ. The list of names is reason to consider the passage of centuries prior to the birth of Jesus Christ and the lives of each individual mentioned in the genealogy.
It is difficult to project thoughts back centuries to a different time in a different culture. It is difficult to think with accuracy about the way life was in each of the time periods represented by the names in the genealogy.
Serious believers will consider each of the persons mentioned in the genealogy. Serious believers think carefully about the birth of Jesus Christ.
The divine taking on human flesh is a one-time occurrence. The celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ continues to attract the attention of millions of people.
Believers look to Jesus Christ as the Son of God. Believers look to Jesus Christ as being born of the Virgin Mary. Believers think about the Holy Spirit each time the birth of Jesus Christ is considered.
The Holy Orthodox Church wants believers to hear the genealogy of Jesus Christ each year. The Holy Orthodox Church wants believers to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ each year.
The birth of Jesus Christ and the meaning for each person, for each community, for the world-at-large, these are points to consider carefully.
Everyone who has heard about Jesus Christ makes a decision to learn more about Christ or to invest time in other pursuits. The choices we make about Jesus Christ accumulate. They have a cumulative effect on our lives.
Our relationship with Jesus Christ is deserving of continuous review. We do not want to become stagnant. We do not want to lessen our commitment to Jesus Christ.
The Holy Gospel sets standards for our lives. We learn about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ in the Gospel. Reading the Holy Scriptures is intended to be a continuous practice.
Joy is found in Jesus Christ. Believers around the globe and through the centuries do not exhaust the abilities of Jesus Christ. Each prayer has a place with Jesus Christ.
Our prayers take on order when directed to Jesus Christ. Prayers are the medium of believers in relating to Jesus Christ. Prayers pass through time and space.
Prayers are often directed to God. Prayers, at times, will be directed to intercessors with God.
Prayers can be vocal or silent. Prayers are offered in as many languages as exist. Prayers are expressed at all hours of the day and night.
Being a Christian is at once simple and complex. God is always accessible. God is always attentive.
We come to understand the present through the life of Jesus Christ. We come to understand our place in life when we consider the teachings and life of Jesus Christ. Our expectations for life can be refined through Jesus Christ.
The Holy Gospel is not long in length. There is no adequate substitute for reading the Holy Gospel, for reading the Holy Scriptures.
The birth of Jesus Christ forces us to think about when Jesus was not in human form. The birth of Jesus Christ causes us to think about Jesus before and after the Virgin birth.
Our life changes when it is given to Jesus Christ. We rest in Christ. We are nourished in Christ. We grow in Christ. The Feast of the Nativity of Jesus Christ is the opportune time to be with Jesus Christ.