Nativity Epistle 2016

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Nativity Epistle
from Trenton, New Jersey

 We greet you with the holiday of Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ. May our Lord grant you spiritual joy on this blessed day of the Incarnation of the Word of God.

Once again, by the mercy of God, we celebrate the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ. The holiday of our Lord’s Nativity, also known as Christmas, has always been a time of spiritual joy and continues to bring fond memories of childhood, a time when we – through our naiveté, saw an affinity of ourselves with the Infant lying in the manger.

With time, however, especially with the onset of these difficult times of apostasy, many have fallen into apathy. It is as if spiritual joy is no longer as abundant as it once was. Why is this? Could it be because those who we thought were truly faithful Orthodox and our brothers & sisters in Christ have now departed, and so much has changed that we are left with the foreboding that we no longer have the fullness of grace we once had when saints – such as Saint Metropolitan Philaret and St. John – walked amongst us??

Perhaps some sort of despondency has befallen us, and we no longer see a reason to rejoice. Is this distress our fault?? Actually, it is! Because we have fallen for the allure of the Deceiver telling us that our Church is not as good as it once was. We must equate this with agnosticism. God has not left us! “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” (Psalm 33:20)

Was Apostle Paul’s life ‘better’ than ours? Let us read what he writes in regards to his concerns:”Thrice I was beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep. In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen… in perils among false brethren.” (II Cor.11:25-26)

Have we gone through tribulations such as these? Hardly! Be that as it may, Apostle Paul was not despondent, and neither will we be, because God is with us, understand, O ye nations, and submit yourselves: for God is with us!

I greet all the faithful Friends and Flock on the feast of the Nativity of Christ!

+Bishop Stefan
December 25, 2015/January 7, 2016



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  1. Pingback: Nativity 2016 | St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco Russian Orthodox Church

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