January 2017 Message From Father Peter
The Lord has sent redemption to His people. (Ps 110/111:9)
Dear Parishioners and Friends,
Christ is Born! Glorify Him!
I great you with much joy as we enter into the final days of preparation before the Great Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ.
During the time of Advent we began a beautiful adult education class on a new book on the Orthodox Faith, Welcome To the Orthodox Church – An Introduction to Eastern Orthodoxy. Written by a convert to the faith, it discusses in great detail the Orthodox Christian theological understanding of Salvation, as opposed to that espoused by other Christian Confessions. This book very beautifully describes the coming into the world of our Savior as a rescue operation. He came to redeem, or rather, rescue us from the darkness of sin, which tarnished the image of God within us as a result of the sin of Adam and Eve.
We discovered together that Orthodoxy has a very beautiful understanding of why God took on human flesh and came to dwell with us. He took on human flesh so that He could infuse the world with the light of holiness and bring about the restoration of our fallen world to its former beauty.
It is important, the
n, that we celebrate this feast in the proper spirit. It is much more than an occasion for gift-giving and enjoying time together with our families. This feast is meant to enlighten our minds, hearts and souls. It is designed to reignite the fire of love within us. It is meant to give us a new, more humble and child-like heart. It is given to us so that we may become living icons of Christ – so that in living our lives, in simplicity, kindness and in service to others, we will help to heal and restore the world and all who inhabit it.
Let us in this new year become the holy, light-bearing, spiritual rescue workers of the Church, that God intends us to be. As communicants of the Church who continually receive the Body and Blood of Christ, let us be the images of Christ’s love and peace and hope, to those who are struggling so greatly with sickness,
sadness, loneliness and all kinds of personal struggles. Each of us can make a huge difference in the lives of others, if we consciously follow the path of holiness that the Church sets forth for us, by praying daily, reading Holy Scripture, receiving the Holy Mysteries of Confession and Communion frequently, observe the feast days and attending without fail Sunday Divine Liturgy. This spiritual manner of living will naturally propel us to actively be of service to others.
I very much look forward to celebrating this feast with all of the members of our parish family. I encourage you to make every effort to attend all of the festal services of Christmas and Theophany. If your family does not observe the tradition of the Christmas Eve Holy Supper please join us for supper at the parish hall at 6:30 pm on January 6th. I ask that all parishioners come to Holy Confession so that once again we will receive Holy Communion as an entire community at the Christmas Divine Liturgy. As a small token of our appreciation for the love and support you continually offer our family, Pani Carol and I cordially invite you to join us for some light refreshments in the Church Hall following the Christmas Divine Liturgy.
Wishing you and yours a blessed Nativity and a happy and healthy new year, I remain
With Love in Christ, and Prayers