Monday, December 21, 2015

His birth as the beginning of His death

The Incarnation of Jesus Christ, celebrated at Christmas, is undoubtedly the Queen of all Christian celebrations. Without it we wouldn’t have the Crucifixion, the Resurrection or any other important event from Jesus’ life. That is why it also maintains a link with these other festivities in the Christian calendar. Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh explains,


‘To understand the meaning of the saving death of Christ, we must understand the meaning of the incarnation. Each of us is born into time out of non-being. We enter a fleeting, precarious life in order to grown into the stability of Eternal Life. Called out of naught by the word of God, we enter into time but within time we can find eternity, because eternity is not a never-ending stream of time. Eternity is not something – it is Someone. Eternity is God himself, whom we can meet in the ephemeral flow of time and through this meeting, through the communion which God offers us by grace and love in mutual freedom, we can also enter into eternity to share God’s own life, become in the daring words of St Peter, ‘partakers of the divine nature.’
The birth of the Son of God is unlike ours. He does not enter time out of naught. His birth is not the beginning of life, on an ever growing life; it is a limitation of the fullness that was his before the world began. He who possessed eternal glory with the Father, before all ages, enters into our world, into the created world, wherein man has brought sin, suffering, death. Christ’s birth is for him not the beginning of life, it is the beginning of death. He accepts all that is inherent in our condition and the first day of his life on earth is the first day of his ascent to the cross.’[1]



[1] Anthony of Sourozh, Creative Prayer, 2004, p.73.

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