For the Serbs, Christ was the very meaning of life and struggle, of suffering and dying, and
freedom and restoration and work. He was the meaning of the Church, the meaning of the state,
and the meaning of the family, the meaning of man.
No people ever adorned the feast days of Christ with special touching customs as carefully
and delicately as the Serbian people. Consider how they celebrate Christmas and Epiphany,
Great Friday and Easter, Ascension and Pentecost, Transfiguration and Holy Cross Day.
Everything is adorned with beautiful customs like a lovely and finely woven carpet
A Treasury of Serbian Orthodox Spirituality.
(Translated by Father Theodore Micka and Father Stevan Scott. The Free Serbian Orthodox
Diocese of the United States and Canada, Grayslake, Illinois, 1988, p. 60)
Remember the Students of St. Sava School of Theology - Libertyville
· The approaching Feast of the Nativity.of Christ.
· The remaining days of the Nativity Fast.
· Being prepared in heart, mind and soul for the celebration of the Feast of the Nativity.
Recent Activities of Parish Priest
December 24 - Visited St. John the Divine Orthodox Church, Monesson, Pennsylvania.
December 27 - Pomen in funeral home for Theodore Rantovich.
December 28 - Funeral service for Theodore Rantovich.
December 30 - Visited parishioner in Uniontown rehab center.
December 31 - Served Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Mission, Fairmont, W.Va.
December 31 - Visited parishioner at Ruby Memorial Hospital, Morgantown.
From the Desert Fathers
The abbot Nilus said, "Invulnerable from the arrows of the enemy is he who loves quiet:
but he who mixeth with the crowd hath open wounds.
Sunday of the Holy Fathers-2005
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 Abijah 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 present Gospel gives a detailed geneology leading to the birth of Christ.
Each name is important and has been preserved through the centuries.
If we study the Holy Scriptures with care, we will find large lists of names.
Names have importance. The identify specific individuals. Names establish an identity
and the identity is connected with a certain time and place.
Today the Feast of the Nativity of Christ draws near.
The genealogy presented in the Gospel requires the attentive listener
to think back through the centuries leading to the birth of Christ.
A certain order is communicated. The believer interested in Christ will delve into the
lives of the individuals mention. The serious believer will think carefully as the Old
Testament is read and individuals are identified.
We have the benefit of hindsight in knowing the Christ took on human flesh as an infant
child. Individuals living before the birth of Christ had to anticipate His coming.
In the Vespers for the Feast of the Nativity the Old Testament readings give the believer
rich content to consider. 1 Orthodox believers benefit by attending the full
schedule of services for a feast.
Each believer makes fundamental decisions about Christ. Each believer determines whether
he or she will continue to learn more about Christ. Each believer determines whether he or
she wants to grow in Christ throughout his or her's earthly existence.
Certain individuals reach a level of learning and become comfortable.
Believers can reach a certain level of faith and become stagnant.
A believer can even regress if he or she is not careful.
The joy of growth in Christ is reason to seek further growth in Christ.
The joy of leaning more about Christ and being united with Christ in Holy Communion
are sufficent to draw closer to Christ and seek to partake of His Precious Body and Blood.
The joy of forgiveness through repentance and Holy Confession
are sufficent to draw closer to Christ.
Obstacles may appear in our lives. Perceived setbacks may appear in our lives.
Christ defeated death. No earthly obstacle is immune from the power of Christ.
With the Nativity Fast drawing to a close, giving thanks to God is essential.
With the Nativity Fast drawing to a close, treating each remaining day with seriousness
is absolutely important.
The Lord Jesus Christ continues to be studied with great care. Each individual has
access to the Holy Bible. Each individual believer can go to the nearest library and find
useful books that a helpful in learning more about Christ.
We benefit when we thinking carefully about Christ's Virgin birth.
We benefit when we think carefully about the prophetic words in Holy Scripture.
We benefit when we cherish and continually examine the words of Christ.
The Church has preserved the present genealogy through the centuries.
The Church had determined the genealogy and the account of Christ's birth
were worthy of being kept in current form.
As individuals we will never know all there is to know about Christ.
We have reason to rejoice in knowing what we do about Christ.
We have reason to rejoice in having the opportunity to continue to learn about Christ.
We have reason to thank God for the ability to repent and be renewed in Christ.
We have reason to thank God for the continued opportunity to learn more about Christ.
Each day is a day to learn about Christ.
May our prayers be heard and may we be serious about growing in Christ.
1The Festal Menaion. Translated from the Greek by Mother Mary and Archimandrite
Kallistos Ware. St.Tikhon's Seminary Press, South Canaan, Pennsylvania, 1996, pp.254-259.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
December 19, 2005 / January 1, 2006
Fr. Rodney Torbic
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