January 2018 Message From Father Peter
I behold a strange, most glorious mystery! Heaven-the cave! The cherubic throne-the Virgin! The manger-the place where Christ lay, the uncontainable God, Whom we magnify in song!
Dear Parishioners and Beloved Friends!
Christ Is In Our Midst! He Is and Ever Shall Be!
I greet you with great spiritual joy as we conclude the beautiful and saving days of the Nativity Fast. I look forward to celebrating the deeply moving and spiritually uplifting services of Christmas with all of you. I especially enjoy the Vigil Service for the Nativity, when in the wee hours of the morning we sing the beautiful Christmas Canon that was composed by St. Cosmas of Maiuma.
In the ninth Ode of the Canon, which we repeat as the Hymn to the Virgin at the Christmas Liturgy, we proclaim the great mystery of the birth of our Saviour. Indeed what we see through the eyes of faith is none other than a most glorious mystery. He who created the Heavens is born in a Cave! The womb of the Mother of God, contained God the Son who is uncontainable! He who is enthroned in Heaven at the right side of God the Father, is enthroned in a manger… a feeding trough for animals!
This hymn reminds us that our Lord is most definitely in touch with the reality of the struggles you and I face on earth. From the time of His birth until his death some 33 years later, our Lord experienced the trials and tribulations of life, in the fallen world. He came purposely to rescue us from the stranglehold of the evil one - Satan. By His death and third-day Resurrection , He brought joy and light into the world. He blazed the trail for us to follow, that leads into the heavenly Kingdom.
So on this feast day, each year, those who celebrate it with humility and an open heart are lifted up in spirit, as we sing in the first Ode of the Matins Canon, and receive the gifts of consolation and peace. This feast has the power to transform us and renew that child-like faith, hope and love that was planted within our soul at the time of our rebirth in the Holy Mystery of Baptism. The beautiful services of this day remind us that on this feast day and every day of our lives, God is truly with us and cares deeply for us. He is always there to rescue us from our troubles if we call upon His Name with faith. Snami Boh!
As we celebrate this glorious feast, may all of us be lifted high above the troubles and cares of life. May our active participation in this feast, by partaking of the Body and Blood of Our Saviour in the Christmas Liturgy, gladden our hearts and spiritually renew us.
I pray that our new-born Saviour blesses you and yours with good health, peace and salvation in the coming New Year, and looking forward to celebrating the feast with you this year, (our 25th, Christmas together !)
With Love in Christ, and Prayers