POSTED: Nativity Message of Archbishop JOB
Nativity of the Lord 2007
To the Esteemed Clergy, Monastics, and Faithful in the Diocese of the Midwest:
In the services of the Great Feast of the Nativity, we sing, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will to men!’
This angelic hymn is a ‘standard feature’ in our liturgical worship throughout the year. It is chanted at every Matins and Compline service, and it is prayed at the very beginning of the Divine Liturgy. Yet, on the Great Feast of the Nativity, it takes on special meaning as we give glory to the God Who, by taking on our human flesh and nature, paves for us the road to salvation by granting the world ‘the peace that is from above’.
It is in the same Spirit of peace — the ‘Peace that passes all understanding,’ the Peace that is embodied in the very person of Jesus Christ Himself, that I extend to you, the members of our diocesan family, my most sincere and prayerful best wishes today, as we worship the new-born Christ, and in the new year to come.
Christ is Born!
Today, we rejoice as we affirm that the ‘Prince of Peace,’ the ‘King of Kings’ and ‘Lord of Lords,’ is indeed ‘with us.’ Today, we freely accept His gift of salvation, so lovingly yet mysteriously granted to the entire world. Today, the angelic hymn, heard by one and all, announces that the long-awaited Messiah has entered our time, our space, and our humanity, to transform and transfigure it and us by His very presence. Today, we anticipate the Savior’s ministry to all mankind — and embrace our own call to become, as Saint Paul reminds us, ‘fellow workers’ and ‘co-ministers’ in bringing all creation, not just Jew and Greek, to reflect the Lord’s glory and to become ‘partakers of His divine nature.’