|Father Demetrios Serfes - Spiritual Nourishment : December 1999|
The Joy Of the Feast Of Our Saviour's Holy Nativity
by Father Demetrios Serfes
Boise, ID USA.
The prophecies and visions of the Old Testament have been fulfilled - the Source of Life, the Life-Giver, our Lord Jesus Christ has become incarnate by the Holy Spirit: "And being found in fashion as man He humbled Himself" (Phil. 2:7), to restore the state of divine sonship that man had forfeited to enlighten people with the life of the salutary Gospel teaching of love of God and neighbor, of peace and brotherhood in all the world, and in order to make us participants of the highest divine life - heirs of the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Orthodox heart is filled with great spiritual joy, the Holy Church is triumphant and, together with Her - the whole world, visible and invisible for a Saviour is born. Which is Christ the Lord (Lk.2:11): "All the angels in Heaven are of good cheer and men greatly rejoice today; the whole creation leaps with joy for the Saviour and the Lord is born in Bethlehem..."
All of us spiritually know the Holy Gospel accounts of our Lord's Holy Nativity, and we should reflect upon this reading at the services that our Church offers during the evening and morning of His Holy Nativity. Go to Church to Glorify Him, and to pray, and behold the joy of Him who loves us all! Seek this year as most imporantly as well as desire the spiritual joy of our Lord God!
Many of us should desire to keep this spiritual joy within us as we struggle onward for our salvation. We see now today that others tempt us from this spiritual joy, when our own Serbian Orthodox brothers and sisters in Christ our Lord are suffering, as we know the case (and some of us have refused to believe what is really happening) in Kosovo currently today! The Serbian Orthodox Church is going through a period of much persecution and turmoil presently! Hunger is at the door step still in Kosovo! Many people are freezing and are driving from their homes! No medical attention is giving to the elderly! No concern about the innocent children and their needs! Priest are being slaughtered, nuns are raped, and many Serbian Orthodox Christians are missing and have been killed! More then eighty Serbian Orthodox Churches have been destroyed and which also includes Monasteries! The media barely talks about these hardships and sufferings in Kosovo, and the rest of the world turns its hearts and heads away. The remark today is: "are you sure"? Christians nor priest lie!
Perhaps we think the best way to deal with these current sufferings in Kosovo is to care only about our own lives and how we can bring further gains for ourselves. Is this truly spiritual joy? The Joy of Christ our Lord?
Listen please to the cries and the pleas of His Holiness Patriarch Pavel. Listen please to the pleas and the cries of His Grace Bishop Artemije. Listen please to the cries and the pleas of the loving monks of the Decani Monastery, Hieromonk Theodosius, and Hieromonk Sava. Listen please to the cries and pleas of the children, and the youth in Kosovo. Finally listen to the cries and please of the elderly ....all suffering souls! All are crying and reaching out for "peace and good will among all men". Spread and appeal as true loving Christians for this "peace and good will among all men" in Kosovo. Reach out with joy to see what you can do to help please perhaps by assiting the Decani Monastery Relief Fund.
Let us finally spiritually be comforted in knowing deep within our Christian hearts to seek support once again the pages of the Holy Gospel that bear to the greatness of this miraculous event, to glorify with great spiritual joy Christ our Saviour, and with deep spiritual love to sing: "Glory to God Who has sent down upon us all peace, love, joy, and good will."
It is my pastoral prayer for all of you that the joy of this bright Feast of Christ's Nativity remain with you always!
Christ Is Born!
Humbly In The Love Of Christ Our True God,
Content written and/or compiled by Father Demetrios Serfes.
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(c)1999 Father Demetrios Serfes