Malankara World

Christmas Sermon - The Birthday of Jesus

Homily: Christmas Vigil

by Fr. Andrew

What is the true meaning of Christmas? Is it found in cookies? Is it found in trees? Is it found in gifts? What is the true meaning of Christmas?

The true meaning of Christmas is in cookies, for they remind us of the sweetness of our Lord. Most food is practical- meat and potatoes to keep us going each day, but a cookie is impractical, a superabundant gift of love! That is why we bake cookies at Christmas, we spend precious time and express ourselves to imitate that superabundant love of God in Jesus Christ.

The true meaning of Christmas is in trees, for they remind us of the life giving power of God. All around the evergreen tree, everything is dead or dormant: the noble oak and the beautiful rose are all silent, but the evergreen still grows in the dead of winter. God the Father works through the Spirit of Jesus to bring us life in the midst of death.

The true meaning of Christmas is found in gifts, for they remind us of the supreme gift of God in Jesus Christ. Gifts were given out of the beautiful desire to imitate God. We give gifts to our family and friends, not because they’ve earned it, but because we love them. God gives Himself to us in His Son, Jesus Christ, not because we’ve earned the gift but because He loves us.

The true meaning of Christmas can be found in many different ordinary things around us, we've only forgotten the reason that our ancestors began to bake, decorate, and give. The reason our ancestors began all of “this” that we now consider Christmas is one word.

Emmanuel.

The highest and truest meaning of Christmas, Emmanuel, a Hebrew word that means, "God is with us."

Emmanuel, God is with us. What does it mean that “God is with us?” It is easy to believe that God is with us when everything goes our way. When we hit the lotto, when it is 70 and sunny, when we get straight A’s but what about the other days? What about the bankrupt, the corrupt, the sinful, the betraying and betrayed days? That is when we most need to know- God is with us.

The prophet Isaiah speaks the Word of God and says: "For Zion’s sake, I will not be silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet, until her vindication shines forth like the dawn and her victory like burning torch." God says, I know you have been forsaken and desolate but I will make you delighted and espoused to Me, in fact as a young man marries a virgin, I will marry you and as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride, so shall your God rejoice in you.

Jesus is the sign that God delights in us just as our cookies signify our delight in others. Words fade away, parchment crumbles, but the gift of a life stands forever. Even people who do not believe that Jesus is Lord, know that He historically existed. He is God’s enduring gift to us. Let us enshrine, welcome, and delight in Him so that we may know the Father's delight in us.

See Also:

Homily - The Nativity of the Lord by Fr. Daren J. Zehnle
Can there be anything more vulnerable or defenseless than a newborn child? Yet it is precisely this that the Son of God becomes for us to manifest the depth of his great love.

Homily - Vigil of the Nativity of the Lord
Tonight I wish to focus on the statue of St. Joseph as a way to come to a deeper understanding of the mystery of Christmas. Take a look at this Joseph, if you will.

Christmas Homily by Fr. Andrew
Which Christmas scene do our hearts desire? Do our hearts desire the soft, the quiet, the hidden scene of Bethlehem? Do our hearts desire the loud, the brash, the bold proclamation of the field? Where would God have us meet Him?

Homily: The Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord by Fr. Daren J. Zehnle
This night a savior is born for us, he who is Emmanuel (cf. Matthew 1:23). God is with us! He is not far from us, but here in our midst. The Creator of all things has made himself a creature and entered his creation. This is a message that cannot leave us indifferent.

Homily: At the Vigil of the Nativity of the Lord Jesus Christ by Fr. Daren J. Zehnle
Bethlehem, the city of David in which Jesus was born, means "house of bread." Jesus, the Bread of Life, was placed in a manger, a feeding trough for the animals. Through the Holy Mass he gives himself to us continually as our food, to be nourished and strengthened by him who gave himself for us.

Homily - The Nativity of the Lord, at the Vigil Mass by Fr. Daren J. Zehnle
As we wait here in vigil in the darkness of the night, we "know that the Lord is coming to save us, and in the morning [we] shall see his glory" (Exodus 16:6-7). We await the birth of the one who is mightier than the last of the prophets (cf. Matthew 3:11); we await the birth of "Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham" (Matthew 1:1).

Christmas Home | Sermons Home | General Sermons and Essays | Articles Home | Library - Home

-------
Malankara World
A service of St. Basil's Syriac Orthodox Church, Ohio
Copyright © 2009-2017 - ICBS Group. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer
Website designed, built, and hosted by International Cyber Business Services, Inc., Hudson, Ohio