The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

 

December 22, 2017



It’s Christmas time, once again. It’s that time of year, if you live in a big city as I used to, when everything that should be peaceful becomes a rat race. If you are a working person, it has become a time of parties and eating cookies, having a drink or two before going home. The stores are jammed with last minute shoppers who never seem to know that they had several months to get that all done.

What we seem to have forgotten most, is whose birthday it is anyway. We seem to be a lot like the kids on the old Spike Jones recording who keeps singing, “I’m only getting half of what I oughta ‘cause my birthday comes on Christmas.”

But the birthday of Jesus, the Anointed One, the Messiah who has come to make peace between our creator and the fallen human race is often the one most ignored at this time of year. And it’s His birthday. It seems that it had been almost a crime to say, “Merry Christmas.”

Many years ago, I lived near a young Italian-American family and for Christ’s birthday, Concetta, in keeping with an Italian tradition, would always bake a birthday cake for the Christ-child. The family would eventually get to eat the cake but the first piece was cut and put aside for Jesus. Seems kind of simplistic but it does remind us of what we are really celebrating. The children were also encouraged to offer a gift to the child in the manger and that gift would be left in the creche until the Feast of Epiphany when the Christmas season ended.

As the children grew older, the gift to the child, Jesus, would take different forms. They were then encouraged to offer a prayer of thanksgiving to Him for the blessings that they had received throughout the year and during this Holy Season.

Of course that was 60 years ago, but at this season I remember them and wonder if any of the kids still keep that old tradition. Way back then, I thought it was kind of cute, ut as I look back at that time in general I realize that maybe if more of us practiced those old traditions that came from the lands our parent and grandparents and great-grandparents left to come to this land.

As Christians, we don’t have to be politically correct; we know whose birthday we are celebrating.

And we know the importance of reminding everyone about the importance of the person Jesus Christ.

We need to preach Jesus, not merely by words but by the way we live and treat other people. A poplar Roman Catholic Church saint, Francis of Assisi is reputed to have once said,”Preach about God always and if necessary use words.” I think that is really good advice.

So on that note, Merry Christmas to all! And as we say in the Eastern Christian Churches: Christ is born! Glorify Him!

Metropolitan Kyril

Holy American Orthodox Church

 

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