Nativity of Christ

Matthew 2:1-12

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, AMEN.

Our Savior, dearly Beloved was born this day. Let us rejoice! Sadness is not becoming upon this day for the fear of death is ended by the Incarnation of our Lord. Let no one be excluded from sharing in this cheerfulness, for we have fasted and prepared our hearts for the coming of Christ as a newborn babe. Our Holy Fathers tell us that we should be careful then, that no uncleanness defile us. Let us therefore prove our worthiness of this blessed feast and holy day by the manner of our lives. Let no sensuality soil us, no evil purpose come to accuse us; let malice not devour our hearts, nor pride exalt us, nor the desire of worldly gain blow it about in every direction, nor anger inflame us. For we are called to be as Gods.

And this is the reason that God has become man for us. This is our present Festival; it is this which we are celebrating today, the Coming of God to Man, that we might go forth, or rather that we might go back to God - that putting off the old man, we might put on the new; and that as we died in Adam, so we might live in Christ, being born with Christ and crucified with Him and buried with Him and rising with Him.

Saint Isaac the Syrian says this in his Sermon on the Nativity of Christ:

This Christmas night bestowed peace on the whole world; so, let no one threaten;

This is the night of the Most Gentle One, let no one be cruel;

This is the night of the Most Humble One, let no one be proud;

Now is the day of joy, let us not revenge;

Now is the day of good will, let us not be mean.

In this day of peace, let us not be conquered by anger.

Today the Bountiful One impoverished himself for our sake; so let us invite the poor to table.

Today we received a gift, for which we did not ask; so let us give alms to those who implore and beg.

This present day cast open the heavenly doors to our prayers; let us open our door to those who ask our forgiveness.