2013 Bishop’s Letter on the Nativity of Our Lord, God, and Savior

The Nativity of Our Lord, God, and Savior
Jesus Christ, According to the Flesh

Beloved clergy, religious, and faithful of the Eparchy of Newton,

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

Throughout all of the liturgical hymns for the Offices of the Nativity of Christ and the Theophany—feasts of God’s manifestations to us—we hear again and again that the Son of God became man to reunite our humanity with His Divinity. In Great Compline we sing: Heaven and earth are united today, for Christ is born. Today God has come upon earth, and man has gone up to heaven. Today, for our sake He who by nature is invisible is seen in the flesh. We give glory and cry aloud to Him. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, which your coming has bestowed upon us, O Savior. Glory to You!

God makes a “breakthrough” in time and space by becoming a human being. He assumes our flesh so that we may share His divine life. God intervenes in our life…

    …a God who came not to call the righteous but the sinner;
    …a God who came to seek and save the lost;
    …a God who came not to be served but to serve;
    …a God who came to give us abundant life;
    …a God who came as light so that whoever believes in Him may not remain in darkness;
    …a God who came not to judge the world but to save it;
    …a God who is not impersonal but who is Emmanuel—God With Us;
    …a God who is a Person, Jesus-Savior;
    …a God who cares, who loves, who forgives.

As you meditate on this great mystery of God made flesh for us…

    …allow Jesus to outgrow swaddling clothes and wrap you in His love;
    …discover that you are part of the flock to whom the angels announce the good news;
    …rejoice knowing Christ’s tidings of great joy were for all people and that you are His messenger;
    …let His love and wisdom fill you to serve others as gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

God comes to us in Jesus wrapped, not in holiday paper, but in human flesh from His holy Mother, the Theotokos. He is one with us in the flesh. In the anaphora of the Divine Liturgy we chant: “He left nothing undone until He lifted us up to heaven and bestowed upon us the Kingdom to come.” Because He loves, God sends Jesus, not only to tell us, but also to show us, the height and the depth and the breadth and the length of His love. Only one thing is required: that is our acceptance of His love and our transformation into Godly people.

May the Christ our God, manifested in the flesh, bless each and every one of you in special ways during this glorious season. Be assured of my love, prayers, and blessings for each of you and for your families.

Sincerely in Christ God,
Most Reverend Nicholas J. Samra
Eparchial Bishop of Newton