Nativity Epistle: Bp Anastassy of Vladivostok

“A strange and most wonderful mystery do I see; the cave is heaven, the Virgin the throne of the Cherubim; the manger a room, in which Christ, the God whom nothing can contain, is laid. Him do we praise and magnify.” (9th ode, Nativity Canon)
With the words of this song the Church opens to us the mystery of the coming of the Saviour our Lord Jesus Christ. Now more than 2000 years have passed from the coming of the Son of God and the entire world, Christian and non-Christian alike, calculates its chronology from this event – the Birth of Christ. By this the world bears testimony that no other historical event has more meaning than the birth of the redeemer of mankind.

God became incarnate, and man was freed from the bonds of sin and the curses of death which ruled the pre-Christian world. Man gained the ability to inherit the calm and peace of eternal life, given us by the King of the world. The Angels announced to the shepherds that into the world was born the Reconciler – “glory to God in the highest and on earth peace goodwill to men.”

In these bright days of the Nativity of Christ, we must remove ourselves from all which separates us from God. Prepared with fasting and prayer and having fought our passions of the soul and body, let us rejoice in the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Ever Virgin Mary and become man. “Christ is from heaven, go to meet him. Christ is on earth, be ye lifted up.”

Beloved of Christ fathers, brothers and sisters of our Far Eastern diocese! I sincerely greet you with the joyous feast of the Nativity of Christ!

+ Bishop Anastassy