Respected Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Tis that season again. The decorations go up in front of every house,
Christmas carolers are seen going from house to house, the traffic in
shopping malls increase, and in general people are preparing for
Christmas. For some, it's a mere holiday where the family gets
together and exchange gifts, but for others, it's a more meaningful
one. As true Orthodox Christians, how are we supposed to view
This period, before the 25th of December, is called the Advent. In
Latin, the word Advent means "the coming." Starting Monday, the 15th
of December, the Holy Church will start the Holy Advent Fast(Yeldho
Noumbu). Yes, yet again, another LENT. Thus, this period of fasting is a preparation in connection with the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2,000 years ago, the angels appeared to those Shepards in the field
who were watching after their flock and said "Do not be afraid. I
bring you good news of great joy that will for all the people. Today
in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the
Lord. " Luke 2:8-11. From then on to this very day, we are still
celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior. The message of Christmas is not only to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, but as baptized Orthodox Christians, to celebrate his birth in each of our hearts. By observing this Advent Lent, we are preparing our hearts for our Lord to dwell in and ignite within it the fire of love, peace, and happiness. By partaking in this holy period of lent, we are also preparing ourselves for the Second Advent, which will be his second coming, when he will bring peace and justice to the world and give us hope for an eternal life with the Holy father.
As we approach Christmas day, let us try to observe this period of
advent fasting, along with buying gifts and getting ready for that big Christmas party at your house. It is important whatever we do, to keep CHRIST in CHRISTmas. Don't be misled by the temptations of this world, but overcome them by preparing for and celebrating the true meaning of Christmas. Let us all, together, take this time to come in unity, true Christian spirit, and welcome Christ into our lives.
May the joy and peace of that first Christmas be with us and let's
pray that his presence may change us into faithful Orthodox Children
of God. I wish you all a blessed and early Merry Christmas.
Dn. Belson Kuriakose