Nativity Homily of St Nikolai of Zica
I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world. (John 16:28)
The only-begotten Son of God, brethren, begotten in eternity of the Father without a mother, was born in time of a mother without a father. That first begetting is an unfathomable mystery of the Holy Trinity in eternity, and the second is the unfathomable mystery of God's power and love for mankind in time. The greatest mystery in time corresponds to the greatest mystery in eternity. Without entering into this greatest mystery with the small taper of our understanding, let us be content, brethren, with the knowledge that our salvation had its origin not from man or from earth, but from the greatest heights of the divine invisible world. So great is God's mercy, and so great is the dignity of man, that the Son of God Himself came down from eternity into time, from heaven to earth, from the throne of glory to the shepherd's cave, solely to save mankind, to cleanse men from sin and to return them to Paradise. “I came forth from the Father, where I had everything, and am come into the world, which cannot give Me anything.” The Lord was born in a cave to show that the whole world is one dark cave, which He alone can illumine. The Lord was born in Bethlehem - and Bethlehem means “the House of Bread” - to show that He is the only Bread of Life worthy of true men.
O Lord Jesus, the Pre-eternal Son of the Living God and the Son of the Virgin Mary, enlighten us and nourish us with Thyself.
To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.
With love in Christ, Fr John
“Give me a word!”
BETHLEHEM hath opened Eden; come, let us see. We have found the delight that is hidden; come, let us lay hold “on the things of Paradise within the cave. There hath the unwatered Root appeared, sprouting forth forgiveness; there is found the undug Well, whence David of old yearned to drink; there hath the Virgin brought forth a Babe, and straightway made an end of the thirst both of Adam and of David. For this cause, let us hasten thereto, where there is born a young Child, He that existed before the ages as God.
FROM the heights our Saviour, Christ, the Dayspring of the East, is come to visit us; and we, who once were in the shadow and the dark, behold, now we have found the truth; for from a holy Virgin, the Lord hath been born today.
Let Heaven greatly rejoice, let earth make merry; the Lamb of God is born upon the earth for our sakes, and He granteth the whole world His divine redemption. The Word, in the Father's bosom eternally, is come forth now from the Virgin without man's seed; and the Magi are sore amazed, beholding Him that is born a little babe in Bethlehem. Him do all creatures glorify.
~from The Menaion for Dec. 25