"There were shepherds in the same country staying in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock. Behold an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. The angel said to them, "Don't be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be to all the people. For there is born to you, this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:8-11
As we celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, the anointed one, families everywhere prepare to attend the Divine Liturgy and spend Christmas with family members. The hustle and bustle during the Christmas season may sometimes overwhelm us, and we forget the real essence of Christmas: ‘Christ is Christmas.’
As Orthodox Christians, our Lord Jesus Christ is present in our everyday lives, and it is how we live our everyday lives, which is the true message behind the words ‘Christ is Christmas.’ Keeping ‘Christ in Christmas’ means to the share our love and spirit of Christ that dwells in us, by allowing these traits to shine through our actions.
We can teach our children to prepare for the birth of our Lord in many ways. A child can begin by participating in Lent (to purify both soul and body in order to receive and partake in the birth of our Lord), learning Christmas hymns in our Syriac language, visiting an orphanage or nursing home, wrapping gifts or toys to children in need, or just by reading the Nativity story in the Holy Bible.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came as a Child to redeem us and grant us eternal life. He came as the Son of Man to bring joy to every person, to every human being in every time and place. At this time and always may Christ, through His grace and our faith, be born in our hearts, our souls, and may His joyful word be planted in the hearts of our children.