Nativity Epistle 2011/2012: Bp Anastassy of Vladivostok (ROCOR-Vl)

For the life was manifested, and we have seen [it], and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life (1 John. 1,2)

 In these words of the Apostle is the essence of Christian faith – the promise of a New Life. Our Lord who is the “Resurrection and the Life” came into the world to give life, renewal, transfiguration and enlightenment; to bring unto Himself the fallen human people into eternal life.

The Son of God became man so as to allow man union with God. The first obstacle of this union was the separation of two essences – God and man. This was cured by the act of Incarnation. Two obstacles remain, these are sin and death. The work of Christ is to conquer these – to banish their unavoidability from the cosmos. To simply remove these however, would be to forcibly act against free will. Rather, our Lord made death powerless and granted healing for sin, thus removing the obstacle of sin and taking from death her sting.

God became man that man could become God. We must continually protect the grace given us and wash our sins which separate us from Him with tears of repentance. Sin brings death to our spiritual lives while repentance grants new birth to the spirit.

Beloved of our Lord fathers, brothers and sisters! Let us continually thank God for all He does for us and grants us! Let us remain in faith and piety. “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (John 20,31) . I pray that He, born in Bethlehem renews in each of us these blessed feelings.

Christ is Born Glorify Him! Let His wisdom dawn in each of our hearts, and our lips be filled with His praises!

+ Bishop Anastassy