Christmas Message 2006

Jesus Christ is Coming again. That is the subject of the Gospels, the Epistles, the works of prophecy. Will we be ready for Him when He returns? Some debate whether He really ever existed. Is it true they say? Of course, no legitimate historian would doubt that there was a man named Jesus, Who was born in Bethlehem. One of the greatest Jewish historians contemporary with the time of Jesus wrote about the Christian movement, and this is not the only source. There are the accounts of Roman historians, Julian the Apostate, the Jewish Talmud, the Jewish Historian Josephus, etc.

BUT, our Faith in Christ Jesus should not be based on the historicity of Jesus at all, because such is easily proved and requires no great faith at all. Many of us are not really sure, just what the term Faith means. Well, it means simply, "to believe".

Do we really believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God? Do we really believe that Jesus conquered death by Death by being raised from the dead? Do we really believe that Jesus raised others from the dead? Do we really believe that death is not permanent? Most importantly, do we really believe that Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the men and women who believe in Him? These are the issues of our Faith.

What motivates us to have Faith in the above unbelievable items? The items above certainly fly in the face of rational thought, in the face of the wisdom of humankind, in the face of logic, so, how is it possible to believe in such things? The first answer is one of a recognition that, as creatures, we cannot understand the unknowable. If we read the Greek philosophers, such as, Plato, we learn that they believed in the immortality of the soul, and believed that the world was created by a Deity, the source of all other gods, put in charge of the "Father's" elements of God's creation. In this sense, they believed in One God, and were not exactly polytheistic in everything, except for mistaking Angels as gods, so they worshipped Angels. In the very deepest parts of our being, we know there is a God, without anyone having to prove it to us. What is the real issue here?

Many of us want to deny that God exists to cover for our conscience of guilt. But we need a merciful God Who restores us to a Loving Relationship built on our Repentance from sin.

The second answer is that God, as Creator of the Universe, has power over all the "laws of science", and, as such, God has power over Death and Life. Certainly, also, the soul is immortal.

The third, and final answer is that we are each, and all of us, guilty of sins that are punishable by eternal life spent in the Lake of Fire. But, by believing in the the unbelievable, we can escape this Judgment, because the Good News is that the Lamb of God was sacrificed for your sins, and the sins of all who believe.

Yet, do we have a living Faith or a dead faith?

God's saving grace is alive in us, when we continually give thanks for the fruits of our Faith in Christ Jesus. If we have Joy unspeakable, we are most assuredly saved, because our heart is light. If we therefore express that Joy unspeakable by acts of Agape towards God and our neighbor, then our Faith remains Living.

BUT, God's saving grace is dead in us, when we fail to express our Joy unspeakable, because our heart is heavy-laden with sin. If we emote a heavy heart of dread, then we will be haters of God and neighbor, and thus, our faith is dead, and the end of that poor wretched soul will be worse than had there never been an expression of faith, because the expression of faith was found to be a lie.

So, which camp would you rather be in?

I am sure we all want Joy unspeakable and this motivates us all to strengthen our belief in Christ Jesus and His Evangelion (Messenger of Good News). It is as simple as this: If we believe we are Heaven bound because of our Faith in Christ Jesus and what He did for us, then we will be ultimately successful in getting to Heaven, not by our works, lest we should boast, but solely due to our simply strong and unwavering belief in Christ Jesus, Who was born on this Morn 1,973 years ago. This Gift outclasses Santa Claus, a disrespectful caricature of Holy Saint Nicholas who demonstrated acts of Agape in humility. Let us learn from him how to love effectively.

Through Receiving the Holy Mysterions of the Holy Spirit of God, we keep our Heart Light: Free of a Guilty Conscience, plus we grow more like God everyday!

When Jesus came up to the fig tree that bore no fruit, he cursed it and it withered and died.  Likewise, when the Jewish Scribes and Pharisees were also found to be hypocrites, and agents of the serpent, who bore no fruit for the Kingdom of God in Heaven, he made the Levitical Priesthood desolate (Jerusalem 70 A.D. - Destruction of the Holy Temple), and replaced that system with new tenants who would take care of serving God with a true heart, and not as the hypocrites.  So, thusly, the Holy Spirit came into the Apostles and infused them with a strength of Supernatural Faith.  Thusly, their Faith did not fail them, nor did their hearts become black with the soot of sin.  The Holy Spirit orchestrates the Gifts we receive through Grace.  When we partake of the Holy Mysterions of the Holy Spirit, we grow in our spiritual and physical health, we grow in wisdom, not merely intellect (which profits us nothing, taken alone), we learn to minister to one another with agape.  Please discuss this with your nearest Parish Priest at your nearest Eastern Orthodox Church.  Veer from those Orthodox who wish to unite with the Roman Church with compromise of the Articles of Faith (just for the sake of being unified) for they know not that they are perilously close to uniting with the Mother of all Harlots, the Abomination of Desolation.  When the Roman Church repents in truth from its heresies, we will then have reason to celebrate, for it will be they who unite themselves to the Undivided Body of Christ, the One Which remained the SAME, Yesterday, Today, and Forevermore.  Until that time, we must pray for them with great fervor that they will realize their errors and truly repent before it is too late.

Kala Christougenna! Have a Blessed Celebration of Christ's Birth that strengthens or creates Faith in Christ Jesus within your body, soul, mind, and spirit. Amen.

Grace and Peace be with you in Christ Jesus, now and forever, and from all Ages to all Ages. Amen.

Love in Christ,
Petros Presbeftes, Sysop
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