Episode 384 – We Can’t Always have a Merry Christmas, but we can always Glorify God

It isn’t always easy to be merry at Christmas. For many families Christmas this year is a time of pain and suffering. The Birth of Christ, our Savior, is worthy of celebration. This is why the traditional greeting for Christmas is ‘Christ is Born; Glorify Him!’ It perfectly captures the truth that we glorify God no matter how merry we feel. We glorify Him because He has come to save us with His perfect timing.

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Christ is born. Isn’t that a great greeting? It’s so much better than Merry Christmas, isn’t it? Merry Christmas is… Well, it’s what you see in the stores. It’s what you see on the television news. Have a merry Christmas, but Christmas is something special. Christmas is something better than any other celebration, save just one, in our life. And as Orthodox, we celebrate Christmas by glorifying God. We glorify God because He has been born Jesus Christ, God Himself our Savior. We just heard in the epistle that God’s timing was perfect. The epistle says, “In the fullness of time, when the fullness of time had come, Christ decided to enter into his creation.” If he had waited just one more day, it would’ve been too late for us.

Think about that. Think about the times in our life when we don’t think we’re going to make it through. Think about the struggles we have. I don’t think I can make it another day, and yet God always comes through for us and this is what we’re celebrating at Christmas. We’re celebrating the one and only way we can be saved. We have been trying it for thousands of years. Adam and Eve tried to do it themselves. They failed. They tried building the Tower of Babel, they failed. Over and over and over again, our ancestors have been trying to save themselves and each and every single time they failed. And our society today is trying it again. Through modern medicine and through elective surgeries, we go through life pretending that we can save ourselves. We cannot save ourselves, my brothers and sisters.

This is why when we celebrate Christmas, we give glory to God because our Savior has been born and there is nothing greater than having a savior. Our community has been through a lot, not just this past year, but just in the past few weeks. We have had eight funerals in two weeks. We already have one funeral scheduled for next week. Christmas is a time for struggle for many people. It’s not always a time of great exuberance and joy. It’s not always possible to have a merry Christmas, but we can always glorify God no matter how difficult our life is this season, whether we have lost a loved one, whether we have someone on their deathbed. We have many community members who are very sick.

I get it. We’re not going to have a merry Christmas, but clearly we can give glory to God. Clearly we can thank God in just the right moment He sent us a savior. Now for a moment, I’m going to speak directly to the camera, so excuse me for just a moment. For those of you watching at home, you may feel you couldn’t bring up the courage to come to church tonight. Maybe you just had a funeral. Maybe your life is upside down and you wanted to watch liturgy from the comfort of your computer screen. I’m going to invite you. It’s not too late. You have plenty of time to get in the car and come to church. Come and be with God. Come and glorify Him even in your struggle

Because God is the only one who can get you through how you are struggling today. That’s our celebration, my brothers and sisters. That is what it means as Orthodox Christians to celebrate Christmas. It’s why we have been fasting, or at least the church has been inviting us to fast for 40 days so we can honor God. At his birth, He was given three gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Gold because He is the king. Frankincense because He is God and myrrh for his burial. We must remember that from the day He was born, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was preparing for his death so that we no longer had to worry about it. From the moment He was born, the world was confused by Him and still He saved us. Christ is Born.

Episode 384 – We Can’t Always have a Merry Christmas, but we can always Glorify God

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