She is the highest thanksgiving to God, which man, from among all created beings, brings to the Creator. - Anton Vrame, The Educating Icon, All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: Reading the Lives of the Saints you will find that you will have a lot more to add to your blog! “A virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14). Know that the spiritual battle is constant. Merry Christmas! "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times." He foretold that the Messiah would a descendant of King David. The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, with its headquarters located in the City of New York, is an Eparchy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, The mission of the Archdiocese is to proclaim the Gospel of Christ, to teach and spread the Orthodox Christian faith, to energize, cultivate, and guide the life of the Church in the United States of America according to the Orthodox Christian faith and tradition. To know that a good and an evil spirit attend every man. You don’t hear this side of the christmas nativity every day. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. I'm now a seminary student and I keep this blog going to encourage those who are trying to deepen their walk with Christ. The information contained on the website of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America is for informational purposes only. And after they were brought to Babylon, Jeconiah begot Shealtiel, and Shealtiel begot Zerubbabel. (Micah 5:2). But we also have the Theotokos praying for us. To preserve himself from melancholy, the daughter of doubt and from anger. In this way the icon shows that the star is not only a cosmic phenomenon, but also a messenger from the world on high, bringing tidings of the birth of ‘the heavenly One upon earth’.”, - Ouspensky & Lossky, The Meaning of Icons. The Holy Archdiocese does not exercise any administrative oversight or assignment authority over clergy that are not part of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Caves, with all of their mystery and darkness, hidden chambers and secret places, are truly a reflection of the dark, mysterious heart within each one of us. In this way, the cave became an icon of every heart that opens itself to Christ (cf. 11. Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king. God bestows His grace upon us, but then He seems to withdraw a little bit, allowing difficulties to test and deepen our faith. "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins a… Rediscovering the Beauty of Ancient Christianity. But the glory of this mystery is Christ in you. Many icons that you find online are on quite a few websites and whoever originally created them is either anonymous or unknown to nearly all of us. Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon. I grew up Protestant, but found my home in the ancient Orthodox Church while in my 20's. These divine interventions affirmed the dream that God granted Joseph, and helped Him to trust God. What is Orthodox Christianity? He was bishop in Philippoupolis, and finished his life a martyr. The nativity icon is breathtaking. Thanks for breaking it down for us. His location in a cave also foreshadows the grave in which He would be buried and where He would resurrect. To perform every good deed and to restrain himself from every evil one. Thanks! I have something about Saint Tryphon I think you should have and there are other Saints too. We invite you to prayerfully consider sharing the resources given to you by God with a donation to the Archdiocese. It is a second century document (written in the 100s) that contains some of the oldest verbal tradition that was passed down in the first few generations of the Church. It should be noted that the wise men are represented as being of different ages, which emphasizes the fact that revelation is given to men independently of their years and worldly experience. In the center is Christ, who brings all of these different people together in Himself. The Prophet Micah lived in Judah from 750 to 687 BC. It beams from the heavens, pointing to the Christ child, which shows His descent from heaven to the earth. But when we enter into our hearts, we find that Christ is there. May the Lord bless your efforts to serve Him. Unlike most icons that feature both Christ and the Virgin Mary, she is not looking at Him. To love truth and flee from falsehood. Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram. The ass, on the other hand, is a stubborn and wilder animal. 5. I wish I could tell you, Jean. The materials can also be printed and handed out or used in a presentation in the following formats: Patriarchal Encyclical for the Nativity of Christ - 2010, 8 East 79th Street • New York, NY 10075 Above are the angels, below are the shepherds, midwives, and people. 7. There is a fountain that they are about to wash the Christ child in because He had, in some sense, an ordinary, messy birth. In the adoration of the wise men the Church testifies that it accepts and sanctifies all human science leading towards it, provided that the relative light of the extra- Christian revelation brings those who serve it to the worship of the absolute light. Above is the nativity icon of the Eastern Orthodox Church, which is full of beautiful symbolism with great theological depth. Phone: (212) 570-3500 • Contact, Download VCF • Join our Mailing Lists • Donate To learn patience and magnanimity of soul. We may wonder why things happen the way they do. Instead, she is looking at her husband Joseph, interceding for him. "The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. The angel gave him twelve commandments: 1. As the Bible says, For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility (Eph. The Prophet Jeremiah lived from 650 to 587 BC. In the center is the infant Christ lying in a manger. (Luke 2:19). The figure next to him is supposed to be the devil who is, of course, is filling his mind with all sorts of doubts and probably angry thoughts. The expression on her face is calm, gentle, meditative, showing that she gave birth to the child in a supernatural manner, free of all pain. 2:14). Department of Outreach & Evangelism Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, "Thus the icon is also a theology, a theology in color, expressing the experience of God with lines and paints rather than with discursive language. But if we persevere, we have a doubting saint to whom we can look as our example. Uzziah begot Jotham, Jotham begot Ahaz, and Ahaz begot Hezekiah. All of the distractions in our lives pull us outside of our hearts. The traditional Orthodox icon of the Nativity tells us what the Bible tells us, and does so in a very clear, vivid, effective manner, by means of forms and colors. To pray to God in faith from the depths of his heart, so that his prayer might be heard. They are not just a photo of an event since not everything depicted happened all at once. The Jews had the Law of Moses and it helped keep them clean and obedient to God. Col. 1:26-27). On the left, the three kings (magi) are traveling from afar, following the star in the sky. Carry on undeterred, fearless and unstoppable. The icon of the Nativity graphically underlines this role of the Mother of God, singling her out from among the other figures by Her central position and at times by Her size. This site has been made possible by a grant from Leadership 100. 9. We have the devil whispering doubts or evil things to us. He foretold that the Messiah would be born of a virgin. To guard his thoughts in chastity. The Archdiocese responds to the spiritual needs of the Greek Orthodox Christian Faithful through National Ministries, providing programs and services to your local parishes, Metropolises, and you. It is all demon instigated and should be dismissed immediately.
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