Reflections by Fr. David December 2019

"treasures in earthen vessels...
so that grace extends to more and more people..."

2nd CORINTHIANS 4:v 6,-8

      Every person, during the Nativity Fast period has concerns "wants", ideas, and aspirations when anticipating the Nativity of the promised Savior of the world as we know it. However each of us must also be alert to the rumors and speculations surrounding the events of the birth.

       A census was called for by the Roman magistrates so that an accurate count could be made of the population of the people of the Empire. The mandated census also required people to be on the move and make the journey to the place of their birth. As a consequence the strength of regional towns could be assessed and the authorities in charge could anticipate the kinds of services needed to maintain control of the populace. Also, it provided the garrisons that were needed to maintain protection of the borders against internal and external enemies of the Empire.

        So ordered by the local authorities, In an extraordinary dream, Joseph was made aware that his responsibility was to protect this maiden who was carrying within herself a most precious treasure. A miraculous treasure announced to her by an angel as she was dutiful in the duties within the temple. The angel explained that she was found worthy to be the bearer of the Son of God if she, a virgin, would agree! Somewhat dismayed by the announcement and the invitation she hesitated. She was aware that a prophecy had been given that Yeshiva would be born of her tribe, her ancestral forbearers. As she in her silent musing became aware she realized and she responded …"I have no Husband".....The Angel continued his message noting very carefully that she would be as a pious maid ."Overshadowed by the Holy Spirit.." and become the  Theotokos (the GOD-bearer). Immediately this adolescent realized that she could say  yes to the angel of God and said  confirming decision .

                .for behold, from now all generations shall call me blessed...'(Luke1:48)

        This Is a most profound expression of faith and understanding a gift of grace to be remembered in all history of the race of mankind. It is inherent, and nurtured within all of us to say yes to God!

         If only we would pause to” hear' and” see" within ourselves God's invitation to participate in our own salvation. It is indeed required of us as we mature in our believing that the many opportunities for the more profound responses are asked of us. In dreams, in thoughts & in remembrances.

           We are to "take time" to understand the depth of "grace given to us as we prepare ourselves guided  by the work, the liturgy( work of the people) set before us. We are to deepen our practice of prayer by setting aside 'Time" to pray for the peace of mind, soul, body that can bring peace and tranquility.

         We are to renew our commitment to our church community to be stewards who are present during the worship services and assemblies necessary for conducting the worldly aspects necessary. All this to be done by not rushing yet calmly entering into in as schedule our "time" to 'lay aside all our worldly cares"

         We can be more expectant of the Nativity of the Prince of Peace as the necessary presence in our personal lives although aware of the temptations, blandishments of our fallen world where disappointments have overshadowed and made sorrowful our life We are to seek and pursue reconciliation and vitality  of loving hospitality; loving even those who may aggravate us.

           As we proceed in our daily lives through these forty days already begun, let us remind ourselves and practice this prayer of the Liturgy........

                  ...let us commemorate our all holy, pure, most highly blessed,

                   And glorious Lady,The Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary...

                                 ......With all the Saints.......

                 ....Let us Commend (commit) ourselves and one another and 

                                 ...our whole Life to Christ our God...."

     Christ, who once again and each day of these forty days be reborn in each of our hearts!

Let us say "Christ is Born! Glorify Him ! For He is our Treasure given to us as His earthen vessels made of the dust of the earth yet breathed upon by the Breath of Life  Himself.

Come & See Orthodox Christianity