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Nativity Scene Hand Carved From Olive Wood In The Holy Land
Nativity Scene Hand Carved From
Olive Wood In The Holy Land

From Heaven To Earth, And From Earth To Heaven - Our Lordís Holy Nativity
Written by Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes
Boise, Idaho, USA
December 2002

From heaven to earth a great peace and love shall come our way, as we prepare for the holy feast of our Lordís Holy Nativity. What we experience, in the very depths of our soul, is the result of a two-way action on the part of our loving God: Our fathers - the saints and the martyrs - have passed from this earthly existence to heaven, and this is because our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ came to earth from the heavenly realm, to save us and lead us to His Kingdom.

This is indeed a holy time for all of us as we prepare for our Lordís Holy Nativity. It is a time to pray and a time to fast. A time to go to Holy Confession and take Holy Communion. And a time to think about how we are to celebrate this great and holy feast day spiritually.

All of heaven itself is in a state of great wonder and rejoicing at the Lordís Incarnation. Just think what a blessing, what great kindness and what an unsurpassable act of love it is for us that the Mighty Lord God came - and still comes - to earth from heaven, His Kingdom, to guide us on the path towards our salvation.

As our Gracious Lord God comes to us while we are still on this earth, we must surely wonder how we should draw near to Him. Can we come to Him with the same love that He is offering us? Or will we be so busy trying to buy gifts and spending so much time at holiday gatherings that we really forget that indeed a Holy, Mighty, and Immortal God is being born for our sakes?

We remember from the Holy Scriptures how our Lord Jesus Christ was born, and came and lived among us. As He began to teach the multitude of people who came to Him they were amazed at what He said, and felt blessed just to be in His presence. They learned that all anyone had to do was to receive His great blessings. Healing was simply to touch the hem of His garment in faith, and be healed. Those who truly hungered, listened to every word of love He offered. They received His words and believed in them as an act faith in a new life and hope that the way to heaven was open to them. And it is just the same for us at this season of His Holy Nativity - our Lord Jesus comes from Heaven to save us on earth and show us the way back to heaven and eternal life with Him.

Let us think, too, about the Three Wise Men who journeyed so long and so far before they arrived at the place of our Lordís Holy Nativity. What wonder, what peace and joy they must have felt as they knelt in prayer and offered their gifts. Think about the fact that in their presence was a great holiness, and that on this Holy day salvation and love for all of mankind has come!

Now the question is this: What shall we do, as pious and Orthodox Christians, once the day of our Lordís Holy Nativity comes? Like the Wise Men, shall we also kneel in prayer, and offer our glory and honor to our Lord God? Shall we go to Church for the beautiful vigil services and Holy Divine Liturgy and sing with the choir: "Glory to God in the Highest, on earth peace and good will among men"?

That is what we should do! Donít be late for the Holy Nativity services of our Lord, as by arriving too late we miss out on the great love being offered to us. Yes, itís alright to prepare your festival dinner, and have your family and relatives with you. But at the same time donít forget the great feast that is being celebrated in our Holy Churches. Prepare yourself and your beloved family so that you all may give that which is truly due to our God - all honor and worship - and let us receive our Lord Jesus Christ with true humility and love. And there is one great gift He wants from us - that we should love Him and desire to seek Him spiritually, preparing ourselves to go from earth to heaven.

Because of what we have experienced in recent months our souls need so deeply the blessings of our Lord God. We can receive all of these spiritual rewards during the Nativity fast, and on this great Feast Day in prayer.

Thereafter at this Holy Feast let us busy ourselves with the Lord, drawing near to Him, seeking Him, remembering we need to cleanse ourselves from any sins we have committed - we must keep ourselves pure in mind, heart and soul! Our spiritual peace with our Lord God should be to love our New-Born Savior, and be wrapped up (like a gift) in His love for us. So finally our tears will be no more as we have a new hope and a new peace in the realization that as pious and Orthodox Christians we can indeed behold heaven on earth!

Let us all together glorify our New-Born Savior!

Christ Is Born!

With the love of our New-Born Savior,

+Very Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes
Who prays for you and with you!