Merry Christmas & Happy New Year To You

Here, then, Macarius, is our offering to you who love Christ, a brief statement of the faith of Christ and of the manifestation of His Godhead to us. This will give you a beginning, and you must go on to prove its truth by the study of the Scriptures. They were written and inspired by God; and we, who have learned from inspired teachers who read the Scriptures and became martyrs for the Godhead of Christ, make further contribution to your eagerness to learn. From the Scriptures you will learn also of His second manifestation to us, glorious and divine indeed, when He shall come not in lowliness but in His proper glory, no longer in humiliation but in majesty, no longer to suffer but to bestow on us all the fruit of His cross—the resurrection and incorruptibility. No longer will He then be judged, but rather will Himself be Judge, judging each and all according to their deeds done in the body, whether good or ill.

Athanasius

And here we are, Christmas day.

Advent, a time of waiting is over.  Today, we rightly celebrate the birth of Jesus, the arrival of the King.  Surprisingly, the creator of all things chose to take on a human body and came as a lowly infant.  However, if you read the gospel accounts, you might notice that he was rather different than most kings.  For years he worked as a carpenter, and then he wandered throughout the countryside of ancient Palestine preaching about the Kingdom of God.  He suffered, was crucified, and left for dead.

Something strange happened though; according to hundreds of witnesses this Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven.  While I cannot go into great detail here why I believe the resurrection actually happened (see Anglican theologian N.T. Wright for more), I will say that this event changes everything.

Don’t take it from me though, look into the Gospel accounts.  As sure as the sunrise in the morning, Jesus will return.  It might be next year, it could be in the next millennia, but the King shall return.  Dear reader, he shall return and put the world to rights.  Won’t you place your trust in him today?

So I pray in closing with the ancient church father Maximus the Confessor,

May all of us who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ be delivered from the present delights and the future afflictions of the evil one by participating in the reality of the blessings held in store and already revealed in Christ our Lord himself, who alone with the Father and the Holy Spirit is praised by all creation. Amen

Photo: Mohammadali F. via Compfight