Archbishop Andronik’s Nativity Epistle
Christ is born! Glorify Him!
Christ descends from the heavens, welcome Him!
Christ is now on earth, O be jubilant!
The Nativity of Christ is a celebration of the heavenly hosts. Born in this world the Son of God became the Son of Man, yet He remained God.
The Most Holy Theotokos Mary became a Mother, while remaining a Virgin. In the words of Saint Theophylact of Bulgaria, the Lord elevated the Virgin above the cherubims and seraphims, while honoring Joseph the Betrothed as the father. It is as a father that Joseph provides the name of the Newborn, as told to him by an angel, to be “Jesus,” the Savior.
With His Birth, the Lord reveals to us that life on earth is foremost a study in love. A person is born as the fruit of the love between his or her parents, and in the course of a person’s life, the person learns to love; first his family and then others, as the circle of love grows ever wider. A person then joins the religious family of the person’s church, which is not simply a human family, but a divine family. A family such as this begins on earth and lives on for eternity.
The head of this Family – of the Holy Church of Christ – is the Almighty. He knows how to guide us and preserve us in times of trouble, and if this world, abiding in evil, creates more and more new ways to divide us from the True God, then our Heavenly Godhead lifts us up, “Take heart! I have overcome the world…”
May we greet this radiant holy day with joy and good cheer. May the sweet fragrance of the church service and the aroma of the family celebration join together in one song of praise to the newborn Lord.
I sincerely congratulate you all on the Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ and through solemn prayers wish you joy, peace, good health and salvation. May the Infant God, our Lord, bless you with His many and plentiful blessings.
Archbishop of New York and North America
The Nativity of Christ 2020