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Light of Light

“…We believe in One Lord Jesus Christ, the Only-Begotten Son of God, begotten of the

Father before all ages; Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten not created, of one essence with the Father, by Whom all things were made: Who for us, men, and for our salvation, came down from Heaven and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and of the Virgin Mary, and became man.” (Excerpt from the Agpeya, the Orthodox Creed)

We as Christians attribute our heritage to the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ the Messiah. Our faith is experienced and celebrated through the revelation and birth of a prophesied newborn Child, God’s plan for our achievement of salvation. The birth of our Lord Jesus Christ is mysterious and yet glorious. It is of One Divine Nature. A Divinity older than the Creation that has no beginning and no end. It is full of awe and yet full of reverence to those present at His Holy birth and today in the hearts of the faithful believers. Yes, we believe, the Lord Jesus Christ is begotten of the Father beyond time and without change.

“You, Lord in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the Heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You will remain; and they will all grow old like a garment, like a cloak You will fold them up, and they will be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will not fail” (Hebrews 1:10-12).

Clement of Alexandria proclaimed to the world concerning the Light of the Glorious Nativity, “Oh, the Great God! O the perfect Child! The Son in the Father and the Father in the Son…God the Word, who became man for our sakes.”

When we think of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ we should think of extraordinary, unprecedented humility. God the Word humbled Himself by becoming man, but…there was no change in His Divinity.

Light of Divinity

The Son of God is begotten from the Father and likewise as the sun does not exist without bearing light so neither does the Father exists without the Son. He is of the Divine One and called the Son of the Most High God. He came down from the Heaven and assumed flesh. He clothed Himself with it from St. Mary.

Aristides c. 125 said, “…And the son of God lived in the daughter of man.”

The Holy New Testament Book of Hebrews further explains the brightness of the light of Divinity…

“Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High” (Hebrews 1:3).

In the “Letter to Diognetus” c. 125, it is written, about the Divine nature of our Lord Jesus Christ…

“Truly God Himself, who is Almighty, the Creator of all things, and invisible has sent from Heaven and placed among men, the One who is the truth, and the holy and incomprehensible Word…God did not as one might have imagined, send to men any servant, angel, or ruler…Rather, He sent the very Creator and Fashioner of all things—by whom He made the Heavens…As a king sends his son, who is also a king so God sent Him. He sent Him as God.”

In worshipping our Lord Jesus Christ, in faithfully following His teachings, we enter the Kingdom of Heaven. This is the light of the Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ and the intention of His Holy birth.

Light of Incarnation

Incarnate is becoming of flesh. The Lord Jesus Christ became incarnate when He took upon Himself the human nature of man. By this action the light of the Incarnation reunited all men to God. God is perfect and in His perfection through the Incarnation made perfect Man.

“The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I have been established from everlasting, from the beginning, before there was ever an earth. When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills, I was brought forth; while as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, or the primal dust of the world. When He prepared the heavens, I was there, when He drew a circle on the face of the deep, when He established the clouds above, when He strengthened the fountains of the deep, when He assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters would not transgress His command, when He marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside Him as a master craftsman;and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him” (Proverbs 8:22-30).

Redemption for all man is approachable and given through the Incarnation and birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17).

The Person of God the Son was well explained by the early church fathers…

“He is God in the form of man, stainless, the minister of His Father’s will, the Word who is God, who is in the Father who is at the Father’s right hand. And with the form of God, He is God.” (St. Clement of Alexandria, c. 195)

“God by His own Word and Wisdom made all things.” (Theophilus c. 180)

King David in his song proclaimed the light of the Incarnation to come…

“The Lord said to Me, “You are My Son, today I have begotten You” (Psalm 2:7).

Light of the World

“So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: ‘You are My Son, today I have begotten You.’ As He also says in another place: ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek’” (Hebrews 5:5-6).

During the time of honoring the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ we are called to remember He came to be born and live among the worldly not a select few of nobility. Yet, He came as both priest and king. He came not for a scant few but for all who would gather together in His Name. The Lord Jesus Christ did not sin therefore he was truly the light of the world.

The Lord Jesus Christ from birth forward to this day would become the light of the world by His example. A light before the time of man, during the time of man, and will follow all time of man.

A Psalm of David would reveal, “Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:58).

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1). A confirmation of faith, a prophecy of the light to come, was within his song.

It is accepted among the faithful that the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ ranks higher than any earthly event, without this event no other miraculous events performed by our Lord could have occurred…

“The best thing on earth is the most pious man. The best thing in Heaven the nearer in place and purer, is an angel, the partaker of the eternal and blessed life. But the nature of the Son, which is nearest to Him who is alone the Almighty One, is the most perfect, most holy, most potent, most princely, most kingly, and most beneficent. This is the highest excellence, who orders all things in accordance with the Father’s will and holds the helm of the universe in the best way…The Son of God is never displaced…being always everywhere and being contained nowhere. He is complete seeing all things, hearing all things, knowing all things…All the host of angels and gods are placed in subjection to Him. He, the paternal Word, exhibits the holy administration for Him who put all things in subjection to Him.” (St. Clement of Alexandria, c. 195)

Dionysius of Alexandria c. 262 as quoted by St. Athanasius, wrote…

“There certainly was not a time when God was not the Father…Because the Son has existence from the Father, not from Himself, it does not mean that God afterwards begot the Son…Being the brightness of the eternal Light, He Himself also is absolutely eternal. If the light is always in existence, it is manifest that its brightness also exists…God is the eternal Light, which hasn’t a beginning nor will it ever fail. Therefore, the eternal brightness shines forth before Him and co-exists with Him. Existing without a beginning and always begotten. He always shines before Him. His is that Wisdom that says, ‘I was that in with He delighted and I was daily his delight, before His face a all times.”

The mission of the church today and throughout the centuries of its existence has been to proclaim the Lord Jesus Christ to the world. Wise men and women still seek Him, shepherds still adore Him, and Christians around the world celebrate the day upon which He was born unto the virgin St. Mary.

As we light candles on the Feast of the Glorious Nativity let us remember they are symbolizations of the light of our Lord Jesus Christ, the light of those candles which symbolizes newness, goodness, and from the inception of His Holy Birth lead the way to our salvation.

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