Sunday, baby Max was entered into the church of his ancestors. It was a great moment for him, and although he is just a babe, and unable to walk, the little one was escorted in, by the priest, who carried him around the altar. On his way back we noticed how large his eyes were and how happy he had suddenly become.
Christmas will be celebrated soon by the world and we will remember how Jesus was entered, and for the reason He came. The gospel writers, Matthew, Luke and John tell us that the Christ was born in the town of Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of Herod the King, and mention the star, wise men from the east, gifts. Luke tells us about the shepherds and angels. Quite the entrance into the world, and an historical account beginning with the genealogy of Jesus' Davidic descent. Under Mosaic Law, betrothal involves almost the same commitment as marriage, and Joseph, in (Matthew 1:24) is told to take Mary, the ever virgin as his wife. "Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, and as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife."
(Matthew 1:23) "Behold the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, " which is translated, "God with us."
Deuteronomy chapter 18:15 "The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear." The Prophet to come would speak all the Father commanded Him. He is the Word made flesh (John1:14), the Prophet to come is God in the Flesh. (see Is54:13, Jn6:45).
The historical events are all important, the horror of the cry in Ramah, which was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, (Matthew 2:18)"A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they are no more."
(Matthew 2:15) "that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, "Out of Egypt I called My Son,"
So here is the challenge of Christmas, that is; after the party, gift wrap, tinsel and tree. Will we put it all aside until next year, when commercialism and its quest for more goods and services, sends us around the full parking lot, half crazy to find that of what we need and must have, lining their already full pockets, with that which is highly popular, promoted...and with which we cannot live without ...Enough Already!
or, will we be seen Worshiping the true God, lying in the manger of our hearts as we enter into His holy church. (God dwells within His people). Will we be like Paul, who in his world view of Christian life in the church, gives credible testimony about the birth of Christ.-- (Romans1:3-6)"His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh." "and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead,"
(Paul, originally called Saul, once persecuted the church, was converted on the road to Damascus, he was a Roman citizen from Tarsus.) Like him, we can all be changed. I used to wonder why the grandparents didn't show much enthusiasm for holiday shopping and decorating, until I became among the aged. My perspective is so very different from when I was a youngster. I can tell you for me, it's not all about the tree. There are gifts which are not material, like love, peace, charity, mercy and joy. Hopefully, we all can find time to share something with someone in need this Christmas and all through the year.
There is a feast celebrated, which commemorates the water flowing from the rock which Moses struck in the wilderness (Ex17 1-7) and provides the context for the Lord's words, if anyone thirsts. Which is the promise of the Pentecost. (John7 37-38)"Jesus stood and cried out saying -If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."
(Rev.21:6-7) "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son."
My hope and prayer then, for Max, this Christmas, and for always;-- and for all of us, is that we may always be found thirsting, desiring Living water, who is our God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
All scriptural references are taken from the Orthodox Study Bible
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