Nativity Message for 2023

[PDF] [Ελληνικά]

Hellenic Republic

Church of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Greece

The Holy Synod

Athens, December 15/28, 2023
To be read in Church on the Feast of the Nativity

NATIVITY MESSAGE for 2023

“God is mingled with human nature, in order that humanity might be raised up to the height of God” (Saint Gregory of Nyssa).

Beloved Fathers and Brethren in the Lord Who is Born:

Welcoming with awe and prayerful reverence our Lord and God as God-Man on earth, in our hearts, and in our Church, we exclaim with spiritual joy: “God is the Lord, and hath appeared unto us; blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord”!

Our God and Lord made Himself truly manifest and became flesh for us, for our salvation and deification, in a wondrous and exceptional manner: without the corruption of [His Mother’s] virginity. Although His All-Holy Mother and our Mother gave birth to Him and became Theotokos, she remained Ever-Virgin and is the boast of our kind, its most perfect offering.

And despite the fact that the whole of creation is essentially a magnificent palace of its Lord and Fashioner, yet the world, because of sin, was reduced to disorder and ugliness, joy failed, and all things were darkened.

Now, at the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ creation is illumined, the Virgin shines forth, Grace sheds its light, the Star summons the Magi from the East, the Holy Angels descend with radiance to the hitherto cold and dark earth to chant heavenly melodies of doxology and thanksgiving before the astounded shepherds: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will among men” (St. Luke 2:14).

All Orthodox Christians who keep the lamp of faith and virtue aflame in their souls participate, through prayer, in this heavenly and earthly banquet, which fills all things with spiritual joy, since all of the miracles that ensued, both those in the Gospel and those of the Church of Christ throughout history, are inestimable gifts of the Nativity of Christ.

The Divine life enters into human life in order to bring to an end the weight of sin and to initiate its constriction and disappearance. The Sun of Righteousness rose when evil had reached its highest limit in order to crush both it and its father, the Devil, and also its consequence, death. The power of the serpent’s head was crushed, but the rest of the body of that beast still retained its malignant movements, unceasingly roughening our life with the scales of sin, according to the striking description of Saint Gregory of Nyssa (see his “Homily on the Nativity of Christ”).

* * *

Beloved Brethren:

For all of the wondrous and salvific gifts of the Divine Nativity the price from the beginning was very heavy. At that time, the malice of the bloodthirsty Herod erupted against the innocent babes and slew thousands of infants in a terrible way. Who can recount this manifold calamity and misfortune—“the mingled lamentation, the mournful dirge of children, mothers, relatives, and fathers crying out piteously at the threats of the executioners?” (Saint Gregory of Nyssa, “Homily on the Nativity of Christ”).

However, even today are children not victims of injustice on the part of adults? Do they not suffer all manner of exploitation for the supposed prosperity and happiness of adults? Do they not constitute the bright future, which however is impeded and damaged on account of wars, epidemics, pandemics, technical devices, and other disasters caused by the adults and the powerful of this world?

And most importantly: Are the innocent souls of little children not being poisoned by the stench of the alleged education with which certain supposedly enlightened, but in reality darkened, minds want to provide them? What else is the planned sex education of kindergarten and elementary school children than an attempt at corrupting them? And indeed, with emphasis on extremes and eccentricities which have the goal of initiating them even into programs for change of sex and sexual orientation?

It is self-evident that this organized attempt at their premature corruption to the point of perversion constitutes a faithful continuation of the tactic of Herod, which aspires, indeed, to the perdition of souls! Parents, teachers, clergy, spiritual Fathers, and faithful Christians: let us all keep watch over our children, let us protect them from this endeavor to destroy them!

This whole movement is taking place, as is well known, in the general framework of the furtherance both of “marriage” between homosexuals, which is being openly promoted, and of their “right to adopt and have children,” the children being used, in essence, for the iniquitous and unspeakable whims of a minority of depraved human beings! No, we do not want or desire such a society for us and our children!

 

* * *

Beloved Fathers and Brethren:

We have no desire to overshadow the joy of this great and all-radiant Feast with all that is tragically going on today. However, the rise of a substantial peril compels us to denounce it, so that we may protect ourselves as we ought.

We hope and pray that the Grace of the Divine Infant of Bethlehem will not forsake us but will set us aright, bring peace to us, restore us to Divine beauty and dignity, deliver us from all attachment to the passions, elevate us, and preserve us in the land of the living!

Christ Is Born!

Nativity of Christ 2023

THE HOLY SYNOD

The Archbishop
† Kallinikos of Athens

The Members
† Gerontios of Piræus and Salamis
† Chrysostomos of Attica and Boiotia
† Gregorios of Thessalonike
† Photios of Demetrias
† Moses of Toronto
† Demetrius of America
† Ambrosios of Philippi and Maroneia
† Kyprianos of Oropos and Phyle
† Klemes of Larisa and Platamon
† Ambrose of Methone
† Auxentios of Etna and Portland
† Theodosios of Bresthena
† Christodoulos of Theoupolis
† Maximus of Pelagonia
† Daniel of Nikopolis

[signed and sealed as a BONA FIDE COPY]

The First Secretary
† Photios of Demetrias

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