Nativity Epistle of Archbishop Tikhon of Omsk (RTOC)


Eminence Tikhon, Archbishop of Omsk and Siberia,

President of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian True Orthodox Church

Christ is born into our fallen image.

Dear Fellow Archpastors the Lord, upon my presbytery, the diaconate in Christ, monastics and monastic, brothers and sisters!

That long-awaited day came and the Nativity, which brought us to the temples of God, united in prayer and Christmas joy. Closing the doors of the church, we entered as if in a mir, where the pure joy and one mouth people, together with the angels praising Christ and the Virgin Mary, and we seem transported to the time in the Bethlehem cave and forgot about what time and what we mire live.

But the worship is over, we will again open the doors of the temple, but now in order to reach the modern mir, which will not help to see and hear everything that’s going on and that so little resemblance to the triumph of the day. Mir rejoices its joys, its booming music, draws into the vortex of passions. And we live in the midst of this, watching mirom, and its noise and external appeal is partly in us. We communicate with those around us human and internally horrified by how large the gap between the joys of mira and joy of Christmas or Easter Orthodox Christian. Horrified and grieve about how sometimes our loved ones are far from the real joy, though here it is, a stone’s throw – only to lift up his eyes to heaven and vozdohni from the heart: “Lord, have mercy!”

There is in Revelation are related to recent times, the words: “unjustly, though still doing wrong, though still unclean filthy, righteous but righteous still, and the holy still be holy” (Rev. 22, 11). That is one of the signs of recent times – the sharp division of people, like two streams of the river, each divided into its side.

This division is now happening before our eyes. At one extreme – the Church and its sanctity, on the other – the loss of any kind has been perceptions of fairness, bezkorystnosti, sincerity, chastity … What a horrible, fantastic debauchery.

We can not fail to notice that mir departs farther from God. Previously, people were divided into believers and atheists, it has now spread indifference to belief in God. Militant atheism, perhaps, no longer meet, but the indifference – as they want. People have learned to find a compromise with his own conscience: they do not believe, and do not deny God, they just do not think about it, do not try to solve this problem for themselves. This is a very convenient way of existence – a comfortable, to nothing binding, but at the same time degrading the image of God in man, and degrade the dignity of man to the level of bezslovesnogo animals that do not tend to solve the problem of personal salvation, and all the care that only a limited appreciation of instincts .

Indifference is a spiritual death, severely condemned by God in the Revelation of St. John the Theologian: “But because thou art lukewarm, not hot nor cold, I will spew you out of my mouth” …

Man, created by God, endowed with reason and understanding was given to man not to brush aside the question of the existence of God, but on the contrary – think about it, decide for themselves the issue of salvation and eternal life, the search for everlasting joy of existence, an endless search for love. For the same given to man and free will: to think, look, learn from their mistakes, and as a result – to be confident in their choice.

Find true joy and true meaning of life leads us to believe that only few understand for themselves the truth of Christianity, few call themselves Orthodox, there is little to observe the Charter and does not do what the statute prohibits … They need something else. We must not only realize that God created you and looks at you from above, but to learn to communicate with God, to God himself, to become like Him and be united with Him. Only in this source of real joy, only in this and the meaning of life, as evidenced by the thousand-year experience of the founding fathers of ascetics of the Orthodox Church. God does not need the rich lavish temples or festivals, they need only our mutuality – mutual feeling of His love for us. But, remember that Christ said, a certain scribe who wished to follow the Lord? With Him, Christ, nowhere to lay his head. Was it not the case with us when we are willing to accept the Lord into your heart, but God is not in our heart where the head lay. Our heart is full of everything that breathes in it mir, that we take it from mira, and the Lord does not remain in our hearts, even a tiny corner – it does not contain a reciprocal feeling for God, it is not capable of love …

Let the care of priugotovlenii heart to take the Lord will be our constant doing. Let the thoughts about God, His Providence, the meaning of life, the acquisition of the love will be our constant thoughts. Let naming themselves Orthodox would involve us not only with the implementation of the statute, but with a deep understanding of the essence of Orthodoxy, with discretion, with wisdom, for in this the Lord has given us reason and freedom of thought and action. Let our hearts be filled with unceasing hymns and gratitude for the Creator gave us life and feelings of those who liken the creation of the Creator: love, mercy, understanding, compassion and attention to our neighbors, caring for others, the desire to forgive and help. Let Orthodoxy will for us is not something external, not only the system of prohibitions and obligations, but our inner essence, a source of joy for us and our neighbors. And only then prepared within our hearts would be that two thousand years ago happened in the cave of Bethlehem – Christ is born.

If this happens, then, after opening the service door of the temple and went out in mir, we will keep in my heart of the Incarnate Christ. Christmas celebration will not end for us with the end of the service and exit from the house of the Lord. We carried him to the mir, and, as a candle, we carry on this miru, light not only to ourselves but to others, giving joy neighbors. And they, seeing our good deeds and our joyful hearts, too, will glorify our Heavenly Father, in the words of the Savior. Our heart is no longer able to take a blank charms mira, because it will be overflowing with love of God.

Now, when Christ in the heart, around us in evil lies mir is not so bad, we have the intelligence to distinguish it from good to evil, do not be tempted to see in the surrounding image of God. Now we will not be so painful to feel the line between church and mirom, because with us and we will constantly be Christ, and we feel the strength to live in a modern mire, just as the Lord blessed.

Nearer the second coming of Christ, the determination of its portents. Our church, and with it all of us – children of her, to go through many severe trials, temptations, which is evil in being particularly subtle, insidious and deadly. But with the help of God, bearing heart-born now Bogomladentsa Christ, we find its place in the mire, and it will serve God and neighbor. Perhaps our lack of malice, our good deeds, our attention to one’s neighbors will make this mir least a little cleaner and a little prolong its existence.

Let us rejoice in the Savior born today, will cleanse and priugotavlivat for Him in our hearts, we sincerely serve God and this ministry so become a source of everlasting joy for us and our neighbors!


+ Tikhon
Archbishop of Omsk and Siberia,
Chairman of the Synod of Bishops
Russian True Orthodox Church